Public transport en route for significant change

Today, Environment Canterbury approved the draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2018-28 for public consultation from September 17 for a month.

This comes after the Greater Christchurch Public Transport Joint Committee, which has developed a significant component of the Plan relating to Greater Christchurch, approved the draft Plan at its meeting on Wednesday August 15.

Environment Canterbury chair Steve Lowndes said public transport has been the subject of many media articles and community discussions over the past few years. “This Plan represents the chance for the community to get involved and help to shape the planning, funding, and delivery of public transport in our region,” he said.

The draft Plan proposes a three-year operational plan, with a ten-year tactical plan and, for the first time, a 30-year strategic vision.

Lowndes said public transport is facing significant change and opportunity over the coming years, with the influences of technological, environmental, social and urban change taking effect.

“For the first time, the Regional Public Transport Plan proposes a 30-year vision, containing the visionary change this city, and the wider region, needs to prepare for a sustainable transport future,” he said.

“The first step is to provide a better system that suits more people. The community has told us they want a public transport system that is more convenient, reliable, easier to engage with, and better for the environment. We’ve listened, and this plan outlines proposals for enormous system improvements, essentially in frequency, reliability and environmental sustainability.”

The draft plan also outlines new ways of thinking about the delivery of public transport in Timaru, where there is opportunity to introduce new technologies and services to deliver a more flexible and convenient public transport service, and it provides an opportunity for a conversation about transport services in the smaller communities around our region.

A copy of the draft RPTP is available here and further information on how to have a say will be available in the coming weeks.