Public transport consultation kicks off with 41,683 free trips

Free travel on the Metro public transport network for World Car-free Day on Saturday 22 September was an outstanding success, with more than 15,600 additional trips across the network.

Environment Canterbury’s senior manager public transport, Stewart Gibbon, said that the free buses were provided as a way of starting a conversation about the future focus of plans for transport in the region.

“We’re underway with our consultation on the Regional Public Transport Plan, which is vastly different to previous plans. It’s full of ideas for the visionary change needed to create a healthier and more environmentally sustainable city and region,” he says.

“We’re really keen for everyone to have their say, whether they use public transport or not, and so providing the free buses gave us the opportunity to reach a wide range of people.

“We had an additional 15,672 trips on the network - a 60% increase compared to Saturdays at the same time last year. The vibe on the buses was really great, with lots of people out and about and enjoying the freedom that their bus trip offered – and seeing such a high turnout really does show that public transport is a viable alternative to using a car,” says Gibbon.

The Regional Public Transport Plan includes proposals for more buses on more high frequency routes, introduction of measures to free up the passage of buses along their journeys, and a transition to zero emission vehicles.

Consultation is open until Sunday 14 October. People can have their say in a few simple steps at ConnectCanterbury.co.nz or by calling 03 366 8855.