Environment Canterbury announces its plan to purchase 12 new electric buses, thanks to funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Transforming public transport
We are transforming the delivery of public transport services to meet the needs of the community, including championing increased density of urban areas and multi-modal transport options to transform urban environments to enrich how people live and work, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from our region’s transport network and urban environments.
We provide three types of public transport in the Canterbury region — urban public transport services in Greater Christchurch and Timaru, subsidised door-to-door transport services for people with mobility impairments as part of our Total Mobility scheme and funding grants for Community Vehicle Trusts. Bus stops, seats, shelters and bus priority measures are provided and maintained by city and district councils.
Our Canterbury Regional Public Transport Plan is updated every three years and includes policies on fares, funding, vehicle quality, service standards, procurement, infrastructure and monitoring. Our metro strategies for Greater Christchurch and Timaru set targets aimed at improving public transport based on public suggestions and the work of our Public Transport Advisory Group.
We also manage the implementation and ongoing operation of technology systems used to support successful delivery of public transport (eg real-time information, ticketing, web services and Bus Interchange operations) to enable the reliable and effective delivery of public transport services.
How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?
As part of this Level of Service, we will:
- 29.1: Provide quality public transport services for customers
- a) Ensure ≥95 per cent of all trips depart their timetabled starting location on time.
- b) Ensure the operational vehicle fleet achieves an average quality score ≥ 80 per cent from audit.
- c) Ensure ≥95 per cent of passengers are satisfied or better with the overall service.
- 29.2: Provide transport options for those whose mobility choices are restricted by disability and/or location.
- 29.3: Reduce the environmental footprint of operating contracted public transport services in the Canterbury region.
How are we doing: We are on track for the quarter with 97 per cent of trips departing their timetabled starting location on time. The reason for not meeting this level of service in recent years was driver shortages. This issue has been largely resolved by increasing driver wages during the last year. A fair pay bargaining agreement is currently under negotiation.
We undertake quality audits of the vehicle fleet on a continual basis throughout the year and aim to audit each vehicle at least once per quarter. Each audit includes inspecting the exterior and interior of the vehicle. For quarter one, there were 245 full audits completed, resulting in an average quality score for the total fleet of 86 per cent.
Survey planning is underway to complete our annual Metro User Survey in quarter four.
We have not had any approaches related to new Vehicle Trusts this quarter. Hanmer Springs Vehicle Trust has received funding to become operational. We will work with groups that meet the criteria for vehicle trust support throughout the year.
No new vehicles entered the fleet during quarter one.
How are we doing on key initiatives?
How are we doing: Four workstreams are underway (management of interchange, safety officers, cash on buses and review of code of conduct for passengers on buses) and are progressing, with interchange safety improvements ongoing but generally delivered. Cash on buses is to be aligned with a national ticketing system; in June, Council approved funding for a trial of safety officers for Greater Christchurch network through the Annual Plan 2023-24, and we are awaiting resource to commence procuring safety resources to support the Network Safety Officer trial.
How are we doing: Planning and drafting of the Regional Public Transport Plan content is well underway. We are reconfirming the scope to accommodate significant changes in legislation and policy and to confirm the process and roles.
How are we doing: We are preparing recommended next steps to consider accelerating service improvements aligned to the accelerated Public Transport Futures infrastructure programme. A paper has been drafted by the Transport Managers Group regarding potential acceleration of PT Futures. This is going through approval processes currently.
How are we doing: Work has begun on frequency uplift for Route 7 to become part of the turn-up-and-go route core network.
How are we doing: The Environment Canterbury team has been mobilising and we have been working as part of the National Programme on the design and configuration of the solution for Canterbury.
How are we doing: We have ordered seven new EV buses which are expected to arrive early in the new year. As part of Central Government’s Public Transport Fleet Decarbonisation Fund (CERF), we have been approved to received funding to procure another 12 EV buses.
Recent highlights and updates
Two new bus routes, Airport to Lyttelton and Northwood to Huntsbury, begin operating in early September.
The Orbiter bus will resume its regular timetable on July 3, signalling the end of the driver shortage.
Electric buses now make up 20 percent of Environment Canterbury’s Metro Urban fleet.
Central government, mana whenua, and local government met to mark the beginning of a newly strengthened partnership to drive planning for Greater Christchurch.
New real-time information system replacing the previous radio-based solution with a GPS based solution.