Travel FAQs

The most common travel and fare FAQs are on this page, if you have other questions, please call 03 366 88 55.

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What are my payment options for fares?

Currently eftpos payment is not available onboard any of our buses, but you can absolutely pay using cash. For safety reasons, we keep limited cash float levels on buses and request that customers avoid paying with $20 notes or higher.

Customers may also want to consider a Metrocard, as it will save you at least 25% compared to a cash fare on all Metro services, and only costs $5 to purchase. Metrocards also enable a much quicker and contactless transaction. Metrocards paired with an online account also open up the option for customers to do both manual and auto–top-ups online using a credit or debit card. If you're interested, you can learn more about Metrocards.

Environment Canterbury is part of a national project to deliver a new national ticketing system. The new solution will make travelling on buses and ferries easier for customers who will be able to simply wave their digital wallet, wearables, or bank-issued debit and credit cards against the reader when boarding and alighting services. Learn more about the national ticketing project.

Can I take my scooter on the bus?

If your scooter folds up then you can take it onboard the bus. You need to make sure it is folded up while onboard and stowed next to you on a seat, under a seat or in a storage rack. If your scooter does not fold up, it is the driver's decision at the time of boarding whether it can go onboard or not. This is because scooters that do not fold up can become projectiles and dangerous to other passengers if the bus has to do an emergency stop. If your scooter does not fold up, we recommend you do not take it on the bus.

Can I take a child's bike or tricycle inside the bus?

It is the driver's decision at the time of boarding whether the bike or tricycle can go onboard or not. This is because they can become dangerous to other passengers if the bus has to do an emergency stop. If the driver thinks it could be dangerous, they have the right to refuse to let you come onboard. We recommend that if the bike or tricycle cannot be stowed safely onboard the bus in a seat or a storage rack, then you do not try to take it on the bus.

Why do we have detours and disruptions

There are many reasons why services may have disruptions, just a few of them are:

  • Road works
  • Construction works
  • Special events
  • Vehicle accidents
  • New routes/timetables
  • Adjustments to routes or timetables
  • Weather conditions
  • Natural hazardous events e.g. flooding or earthquakes.

How often does Metro update detours and services changes?

Metro looks after the notification of all service updates and detours. We update and notify of changes and disruptions as soon as possible throughout the day however out of business hours we can only update and notify of major disruptions.

Where does the detour information come from?

Metro receives information from a number of sources:

  • Planned detours are received from the Christchurch City Council, SCIRT or the contractor responsible for the road works
  • Immediate detours (not notified by the above) are received through the team monitoring buses at the Bus Interchange and in some instances the Police (e.g. accidents)
  • Planned changes are received through our wider team at Environment Canterbury Regional Council and we strive to notify, where possible, on the website at least two weeks in advance of any timetable change or services starting or ending.

Metro works with many agencies whose work may affect buses. Once notified, we work out which services are affected and the best way for buses to travel around the disruption. In order to notify you as soon as possible, we rely on those organisations to tell us of changes. Sometimes we will receive information very close to or once a change has occurred. If this happens, we notify online as soon as possible and also update as further information comes to hand.

While we aim to keep you updated on all disruptions, it is not always possible. Metro assess the amount of disruption and length of disruption before issuing notices online this means that some small disruptions may not be notified.

What do the symbols on the detours and updates page mean?

Detour icon: person using a shovel. This symbol indicates a detour. We use this symbol when buses have to change a section of their route usually due to road works, constructions works, special events or accidents.

Service change icon: megapahone. This symbol indicates a timetable or service change. We use this symbol to notify when a service has a new timetable, route or timetable adjustment starting soon.

Do I need to signal the driver when I want to get on the bus?

We appreciate when passengers make an effort to signal the driver when catching the bus. We recommend when you see your bus coming you stand at the bus stop towards the curb and wave at the driver so that they know you want that bus. The drivers will then pull over and let you on. If you do not signal the driver, they may drive past without seeing you.

Are intoxicated people allowed on the bus (alcohol or drugs)?

It is up to the driver’s discretion whether an intoxicated person can board the bus or not. If the driver believes the person is intoxicated and considers that person risk to the passengers on board or the driver, they can refuse to carry them.

What can I do about loud music being played?

If the music on a passenger’s mp3 or phone is annoying other passengers on the bus, one person should tell the bus driver. The bus driver can then ask the passenger with the music to turn it down. If the bus radio music is too loud, tell the driver and they can turn it down from their control panel.

Can I take my pet onboard the bus?

No, the only animal allowed onboard the bus is a “certified disability assist dog”. You can read, in the Dog Control Act 1996, about where else these dogs are allowed.

Support animals are not permitted on our buses.

Staff are currently working with reference groups and key stakeholders to develop a draft ‘Pets on public transport’ policy. This policy will then be included in the draft Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP), which we expect to consult with the public on in late 2024. 

At what age can a child travel on the bus unaccompanied?

Metro does not have a defined age to allow children to travel unaccompanied. We believe that it is the parent’s decision about whether a child is capable of safely travelling on their own.

What do I do if I see someone etching windows or damaging the bus?

Metro and bus operators take damage to buses seriously and provide details and surveillance footage to the Police for prosecution. If you see it occurring, take note of:

  • what time it occurred
  • what the person damaging the bus looks like (are they in a uniform or have a recognisable top etc)
  • which window or part of the bus was damaged.

Give all the details to the driver. If you feel comfortable telling the driver at the time the damage is occurring, do so. However, if you do not tell the driver when you leave the bus, the bus operator will be able to check the video surveillance footage and provide it to the Police.

Lost or found an item?

Metro does not receive lost property, so if you have lost or left an item or Metrocard on the bus or ferry, please contact the operator of the service you were on.

Can I smoke an e-cigarette on the bus?

No, smoking an e-cigarette or vaping is prohibited on buses where smoking is banned under the Smoke-free Environments Act.

Can I transport a gas bottle on the bus?

No, gas bottles cannot be taken with you on the bus as they could be a very dangerous projectile if the bus had to stop suddenly. Furthermore, our drivers do not have the special licences and permits required to transport anything classified as a ‘dangerous good’, such as gas bottles, fireworks, flammable liquids etc. More information about what classifies as a ‘dangerous good’ can be found on the Waka Kotahi website.

Do Metro buses have free Wi-Fi?

While every bus across the network has Wi-Fi capabilities as part of their hardware installation, it would be extremely cost intensive to provide Wi-Fi across the network, so the provision of Wi-Fi on our services is limited to the following:

  • Routes 91 and 92 are always serviced by buses that have Wi-Fi
  • Route 29 is serviced by buses with Wi-Fi sometimes, but not always. Wi-Fi will only be available on this route when it is being serviced by an electric bus.