New look and schedules for Metro buses

Published 9/09/2020

New look and schedules for Metro buses

On 9 September 2020 a single livery (exterior design) for all buses was launched, with Metro taking steps to streamline operations for an easier to use network that encourages more public transport patronage.

The fleet will carry a distinctive new teal colour, with design inspired by taonga/treasure species, the foods and resources shared by early Māori, and the natural landscape that connected them.

Our connected network

Environment Canterbury Councillor Phil Clearwater said that after research revealed that general awareness of Christchurch’s public transport offering was at times unclear, Metro had to question how it could be made more understandable.

“Get more people using the bus – that’s the mission. We want to make it clearer that this is a single, reliable, connected network that will get you anywhere you need to go in Greater Christchurch across the day.

“We found that the numerous brands of Christchurch’s buses were diluting the message of Metro’s connected network, and so we have worked with our bus operators, Go Bus, Red Bus and Ritchies, during the implementation of their new contracts to introduce a single look across all buses.

“The new operating contracts include replacement of around 100 buses, or half our fleet, over the next two years, so with this many buses being produced, this is the time to update the livery,” he said.

Read more about our connected region.

Ultra-low emission buses

The prototype vehicle unveiled on 9 September 2020 was a MAN A80 Euro 6, operated by Go Bus.

It is one of 39 ultra-low emission buses arriving over the following months to serve Christchurch bus users, with all being built by our local bus manufacturer in Rolleston.

These are followed by 25 zero-emission electric buses in 2021, and more new buses in 2022.

Read more about improving the Metro experience.

A collaborative design

Cr Clearwater says that the new Metro bus livery was developed in conjunction with Environment Canterbury’s Tuia team and Matapopore, the mana whenua organisation responsible for ensuring Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu values and narratives are realised within the Christchurch environment.

Matapopore trustee Lynne Te Aika said that the new Metro bus livery tells the story of the mosaic of historic wetlands and waterways which formed a network of trails, streams and rivers.

“These connected settlements and provided access to areas of vast natural resource, full of native birds, fish and plants that sustained our people who lived there,” she said.

“Today, surrounded by our urban environment, the Metro network provides this vital transport connection across the Ōtautahi / Greater Christchurch area. By weaving this historical narrative into Metro’s design and experience, we hope to create a meaningful sense of place and connection that enriches people’s understanding of their region.”

All buses other than the Orbiter will be painted in the new Metro teal colour to represent our strong link to water, an essential life-sustaining force.

"We’ve moved away from the individually coloured Purple, Orange, Blue and Yellow lines.

"While these lines are identifiable for those who use them regularly, feedback from our research has been that they don’t tell the story of our connected network to those who are not familiar with public transport.

“The Orbiter has been serving Christchurch well for 21 years now and it holds a lot of brand equity with the public. It will remain in a recognizable green livery, symbolic of the land,” said Cr Clearwater.

Read the full story behind the new bus livery.