Metro bus services return to regular weekday timetables

From Monday 31 January, the majority of bus services affected by the driver shortage will return to their normal timetables.

This follows a period of eight weeks, where many routes across the network ran to a Saturday timetable due to a national driver shortage. 

Orbiter continues to operate on reduced timetable

The only service that will continue to operate on a reduced timetable will be the Orbiter which will run every 15 minutes.

Environment Canterbury will continue to work with the operator to bring the Orbiter back to its regular 10-minute weekday frequency once driver staffing levels allow.

General Manager of public transport Stewart Gibbon says he is pleased to see most services returning to normal in what has been a difficult situation for both passengers and operators.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this challenging time,” he said.

“While the change to a Saturday schedule was necessary to reduce the number of cancellations and give customers more certainty, we understand the disruption that this has caused for many customers.

“We would also like to thank our operator who we have been working closely with over the past two months, for their commitment and focus to resume normal services as quickly as possible. We are pleased that normal timetables will resume in time for the start of the school year, and when there is most pressure on the network.

“The driver shortage is an issue affecting the public transport industry across all of New Zealand and we would like to acknowledge the effort of all our operators in recruiting and maintaining drivers in this challenging environment. 

Operating under new COVID-19 rules

“While we are uncertain what the future will bring with the country currently bracing for more Covid-19 cases and the impact this might have, we are pleased that for the time being we will be able to provide more frequent and reliable services once again,” Gibbon said.


Online timetables and real-time displays will be amended to reflect the updated, regular weekday timetables for services that were affected.

Orbiter services will continue to appear in real-time on bus stop displays and the Metro Journey Planner.