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Number of passengers using Metrocards

Date: 01 August 2019
Reporting Frequency: Annually
Category: Air Quality, Transport, Urban Development


A continual increase in the number of passengers using Metrocards.


75% of Christchurch passengers and 48% of Timaru passengers used Metrocards in 2019. 

About this goal

Paying by Metrocard speeds up the payment process when boarding the bus, removing the need to handle cash, and helping bus services to run to schedule.

Additionally, paying by Metrocard has added benefits and convenience for passengers.

Why does it matter?

Fares are at least 25% cheaper when paying by Metrocard than by cash. Other benefits include unlimited travel when daily or weekly caps are reached, and children under five travel free of charge when accompanied by a fare-paying passenger. Metrocard holders can top-up online, set automatic top-ups, and view their journey history.

What's being done?

We will continue our work to increase the number of passengers paying by Metrocard, by promoting the benefits of using a Metrocard.

The 2019 Christchurch Metro User survey found that the Metrocard is the dominant method of payment, but awareness of the benefits could be improved:

  • 75% of passengers paid for their trip by Metrocard. Trend results indicate that use of Metrocards continues to be dominant as use of cash declines.
  • We are seeing a gradual increase in those topping up their Metrocard online.
  • Overall awareness in the survey of the Metrocard being cheaper than a cash fare and the ability to do unlimited transfers within two hours were high.
  • Awareness of other benefits was low, even amongst Metrocard users.
  • Awareness of all benefits was significantly lower amongst passengers using cash and more education is required.

Find out more

Find out about using a Metrocard.

Read more about the Public transport services we provide.

Visit for up to date travel information.

Find out how ratepayer funding supports this work with our Rates Tool.


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