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Selwyn’s trial bus services to continue

Wednesday, June 26, 2019   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: planning, services, transport, commuting

Environment Canterbury media release: 24th June 2019

Trial commuter bus services in Darfield and Leeston will continue for a further four months, with the Leeston service being extended to include Southbridge.

Environment Canterbury senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon confirmed that funding has been made available through the Environment Canterbury Annual Plan process to allow the trial services until the end of October 2019.

“It’s encouraging to see the strong level of support from the Selwyn community to continue these services. We’re happy to confirm they will continue to be provided on a trial basis, meaning that we are likely to test out different options to see further growth in patronage, particularly for the Leeston service,” he said.

This will involve extending the Leeston service to and from Southbridge in the first instance. Environment Canterbury’s public transport team is working now on confirming the exact route extension to Southbridge and the timing for implementation of this and will inform the community as soon as possible.

Boarding numbers for both services remained relatively steady through May 2019, with an average of around 45 boardings per day on the Darfield service and around 30 per day on the Leeston service.

Selwyn District Council Mayor Sam Broughton says the council is pleased with the result, which it supported through a submission to the Annual Plan.

“As a Council, we advocated for these buses on behalf of our community. It’s great to see such a good uptake of the service, allowing Environment Canterbury to continue the trial, to look at areas for improvement and hopefully to the services being implemented permanently.”

Environment Canterbury will continue to closely monitor these services over the four-month period and will work with partners to consider long-term options should these services continue to be well-supported.

Service timetables

The available funding still only allows for one trip in each direction Monday to Friday for each service.

The Darfield and Leeston communities were surveyed to determine the most suitable trip times before the trial services started.

“As the funding only allows for one trip daily in each direction, it is a difficult balancing act to set trip times that work for everyone who may use the service. The recent steady boarding numbers suggest that the current times are working well for a number of people, so if we were to alter them we would need to make sure that they still worked well for current users,” said Gibbon.

“A survey we ran with the Darfield passengers in March, regarding the time of the afternoon service, showed that we were unable to find an alternative that would not reduce the number of current passengers who would use it.”

Next steps for the services

Both services will continue as they are. The community will be informed once the final details and timing of extending the Leeston service to Southbridge have been confirmed.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch