Customer feedback shapes Metro route improvements

Published 26/11/2021

Update: 4 September 2023

In June 2022, Environment Canterbury and Waka Kotahi approved funding for the improvements to routes 17 and 28. These changes are the result of a community consultation process that began in 2021 - find out more.

With the driver shortage over and Metro services now back to normal, we are happy to announce that the approved changes have now been implemented.

From Monday 4 September 2023, two new routes, the Port to Port/Airport to Lyttelton (8) and Northwood to Huntsbury (27) replace routes 17 and 28.

The new routes 8 and 27 increase frequencies and simplify schedules, while covering all the communities that routes 17 and 28 previously serviced.

The Port to Port (8) is Metro's sixth high-frequency service, with buses at least every 15 minutes on weekdays. Route 8 also includes a two-year trial of alternating trips to Ara Polytechnic (every 30 minutes) until 5.30PM on weekdays.

Seven new electric buses will also be introduced post-launch, which will be used for these new services and the wider Metro network.

See the full Environment Canterbury media release for more details.

Image of different people standing at bus stop.

Update October 2022:

Consultation has closed. With funding approved for the changes to routes 17 and 28, we are now working towards implementation. See the Have Your Say page for the latest update.

November 2021:

Metro is continuing to seek feedback on the proposed improvements to the 17 and 28 services. This includes increasing bus frequency and providing access to new and growing destinations around our city. We have already received high interest in the proposed changes and are continuing to collect feedback until Sunday 5 December.

Your input will help shape the future of our bus network

We are always working to improve the experience for our customers, and your input is hugely helpful in shaping the future of public transport in Greater Christchurch. All feedback collected will be considered before any final decisions are made. Changes regarding the proposed routes and improvements are expected to be implemented in 2023. More information on the proposed routes and changes, including maps, can be found on the Have Your Say page.

The proposed improvements for the 17 and 28 bus routes

The two new proposed routes which would replace the existing services are a new "Port to Port" service that would travel between Christchurch Airport and Lyttleton, and another service from Northwood to Huntsbury.

Port to Port - This route will start at Lyttelton Port, and Rapaki, and will continue through Heathcote, Opawa and Waltham to the Bus Interchange. The northern end from the city will travel up Wairakei Rd, Bryndwr, with a proposed extension to Orchard Rd, finishing at the Christchurch Airport.

Northwood to Huntsbury - This route starts in Northwood and travels through Casebrook and Bishopdale to Northlands Mall. It continues down Cranford St to St Albans and the Bus Interchange. The southern end travels down Waltham Rd to St Martins before going up Huntsbury Hill.

Lowering emissions

Environment Canterbury is committed to reducing carbon emissions and is considering two main ways to make our fleet even more environmentally friendly. One is to encourage more people to use public transport by increasing the frequency of buses and providing better access to certain areas of the city.

Research shows that emissions from one diesel bus roughly equate to five petrol cars. By enhancing services to be more reliable with more frequent and efficient trips, it will encourage more people to leave their cars at home and catch the bus.

Environment Canterbury is also working towards making 40% of our bus fleet electric and low emission by 2023. This work includes 25 more electric buses in the region by 2022. While electric buses cost more to purchase, Metro sees value in upgrading the fleet.

The current route review proposal includes increasing the frequency of both the 17 and 28 services, and supporting this with new low emission and electric buses.