Future public transport

We work with partner organisations and stakeholders to consider what public transport in Canterbury could look like in future and to keep up to date with new technologies as they develop.

Northern Commuter Rail Study

The Northern Commuter Rail Study considered whether a commuter rail service using the existing railway line from Rangiora to Addington was viable in the short term for reducing congestion experienced by Waimakariri commuters. The 2014 study found that a passenger rail service was not a viable immediate option for three key reasons:

  1. The existing railway line does not take people where they need to go; commuters work at several destinations across the city, including a high proportion in the west, near Christchurch Airport, which is not serviced by the existing railway line.
  2. Costs are too high; these include costs for upgrading existing stations or building new ones, buying or leasing passenger trains, operating and maintaining the rail network and running additional bus services to support the rail network.
  3. The existing single railway track is used by freight trains, restricting the potential timetable and potentially delaying passenger services. This could be resolved with double tracking or passing loops in future.

North and south-western transport corridor studies

A study carried out in 2008 identified the transport corridors to the north and south-west of Christchurch as areas where higher-capacity public transport modes might be needed in future to cater for expected growth. A follow-up study carried out in 2009 explored three possible transport options: busways, trams and trains. It also considered how these modes of transport could be staged over time with growing demand.