Route 87 Southbridge to Lincoln trial to end

Published 15/05/2024

The trial of Route 87 Southbridge to Lincoln will finish at the end of June, due to continued low patronage. 

We know this will be disappointing for the community, particularly those who use the service regularly. We want to thank those who did support the trial, it’s been a pleasure helping you commute over the past five or so years. 

Its last day of service will be 27 June 2024. 

A review of weekly MetroCard usage from January–April 2024, noted an average of 32 customers using the service in a week, with the average falling to just 14 people using the service three or more times in a week, including return trips. 

We have worked closely with the community from the start of the trial in 2019, to give it every opportunity for success, including amending the route structure, timetable and connecting it with direct services from Lincoln into Christchurch city. 

Following the impacts of Covid-19, the trial of Route 87 was extended several times. Unfortunately, the low usage numbers continued, despite the reduced fares through the government 50% fares initiative, and our $2 flat fare trial that followed. 

We’re encouraging those who rely on the service to begin planning alternative methods of transport. 

The targeted public transport rate the Leeston, Southbridge and Doyleston communities pay for this service was not included in Environment Canterbury’s 2024-2034 draft Long-Term Plan (LTP), so locals will stop paying for this from 1 July 2024 once the plan is adopted.