From our Chair: Plans being put in place for cruise ship passengers

Ahead of the first cruise ship for the season docking at Lyttelton Port, I am pleased that ChristchurchNZ is working with the cruise line industry to ensure cruise ship passengers can access Christchurch city directly and affordably with less impact on our existing bus routes.

Last season we heard how the influx of cruise passengers put pressure on our bus network, particularly on services that travelled between Lyttelton and the central city. The unexpected and increased patronage caused overcrowding, delayed services, impacted school students and their families, and put pressure on terminal and interchange staff. It also came at an unfair cost to our ratepayers.

In addition to the solutions being explored by ChristchurchNZ, we will be introducing an additional bus service to support school students who use the Orbiter service. This will connect the No. 8 buses to Lyttelton after school. The new service will start from Cashmere High School and stop at Opawa Road to replicate the Orbiter / No.8 connection, before following the No. 8 route to Lyttelton. 

This service will operate on school days during the cruise season from Monday 6 November.  We will review the need for this service at the end of 2023.

We’re also planning to increase Route 8 services on cruise ship days to go between Lyttelton, the Gondola and the central city bus interchange.

We’re committed to providing reliable and comfortable public transport for our community, and recognise industry for putting in the work so those who were negatively impacted last year have a better experience this season.

Peter Scott

Chair, Environment Canterbury