Half-price fares for public transport for three months

Half-price fares for Metro’s bus and ferry services in Greater Christchurch and Timaru have come into effect from Friday 1 April 2022 for three months.

The fare reduction follows the Government’s announcement on 14 March that public transport fares across Aotearoa New Zealand are to be temporarily reduced for a three month period.

The temporary fares are now live in the Greater Christchurch Area on Metro buses and Diamond Harbour ferries. Half-price fares are also available on:

  • Timaru’s Link service
  • Timaru's school services
  • Temuka services.

Total Mobility services across the region will also receive the discount.

How to pay

When you board the bus, simply pay for your journey as normal, and you'll automatically be charged the new discounted fare.

The temporary fare reduction aims to help ease the financial burden for Kiwis as the cost-of-living increases. Stewart Gibbon, General Manager of public transport at Environment Canterbury says that the half price fares will be welcome news for many.

“We’re pleased that customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of discounted fares over the next few months,” he said. “For example, travel by bus within Christchurch is now reduced to $1.30 with a Metrocard, or $2.10 with cash."

Metrocards can be easily purchased online at metroinfo.co.nz or at one of the agencies listed on the Metro website for only $5.

“With petrol prices on the rise, it’s a great chance for people that haven’t recently travelled on the Metro network to give public transport a go. Reductions in fares often result in increased usage of public transport, and given the size of the fare change, we would expect to see a positive change in patronage. However, given the challenges that Covid-19 continues to present, we cannot say for certain what level of patronage change might occur.”

More information on the new temporary fares can be viewed on the Greater Christchurch Metro and Timaru Metro websites.

MyWay by Metro fares excluded from fare reduction

The fare reduction will not include the MyWay by Metro service due to the unique challenges a rapid increase in patronage would cause to the on-demand service.

The service is restricted to eight vehicles, which meet the current and gradually increasing demand from the community.

“On-demand public transport operates very differently to a traditional fixed route service. While generally this is a good thing, as we can be flexible and innovative, it doesn’t enable us to meet a sudden, significant or unplanned increase in demand,” Gibbon said.

“As with most industries in Aotearoa, public transport is experiencing staffing challenges around the country due to Omicron. Our council has agreed it would be irresponsible to introduce a change that would lead to a greater uptake than our service could cope with.

“In making this decision, Councillors have been mindful of the need to ensure we can maintain an appropriate level of service and experience for existing and new customers. Although MyWay by Metro has capacity for some patronage growth, we couldn’t guarantee that seats would be available at our busier times throughout the day if fares were halved,” he said.

Community Vehicle Trusts are also not included in the discount as they are separate entities to Metro and do not fall under public transport.