Bus driver shortage results in cancellation of Christchurch routes and Saturday timetables

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Dec 01, 2021 |

A bus driver shortage in Canterbury has resulted in the “unexpected cancellation of some trips.”

Environment Canterbury’s public transport general manager, Stewart Gibbon said to minimise the number of cancellations and provide a more reliable service for customers, selected Metro routes will be temporarily moving to a Saturday timetable on weekdays. ”It’s unfortunate to have to change timetables.”

He said “we understand that this change will be concerning for weekday commuters who use affected services and want to reiterate that we will be working closely with the operator to restore services once there is enough staff capacity.”

“The bus driver shortages have presented challenges across New Zealand for some years now, with Canterbury being largely unaffected up until now.”

“Our operators are reporting that immigration and a very competitive labour market are factors contributing to the driver shortage across New Zealand, and unfortunately Canterbury is no longer immune to this issue.”

”Shifting affected services to a Saturday schedule means we’re able to minimise the number of cancellations and provide customers with a more reliable timetable.”

Affected routes

The following routes will operate to a Saturday timetable Monday-Friday. This change will take effect from Monday 6 December 2021:

• 1 – Rangiora/Cashmere
• 5 – Rolleston/New Brighton
• 7 – Halswell/Queenspark
• 17 – Bryndwr/Huntsbury
• 44 – Shirley/Westmorland
• 60 – Hillmorton/Southshore
• 80 – Lincoln/Parklands
• 95 – Pegasus/Waikuku
• 97 – Rangiora/Pegasus
• 100 – Wigram/The Palms
• 107 – Styx Mill/Northlands Mall
• 120 – Burnside/Spreydon
• 125 – Redwood/Westlake
• 130 – Hei Hei/Avonhead
• 135 – New Brighton/The Palms
• 820 – Burnham/Lincoln
• The Orbiter

Although the timetable is changing for these services Monday to Friday, their usual weekend timetables will remain unchanged.

Stewart Gibbon said for some services the last bus of the day will be cancelled as part of the new timetable.

Customers are encouraged to contact Metroinfo for more information about how their travel plans or specific route is affected by the Monday-Friday timetable change.

All other routes will run to their normal weekly timetables: 3, 28, 29, 81, 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 140, 155, Diamond Harbour Ferry and all school services.

”We realise the disruption this will cause for some customers and we’re working with the operator and across our network to try and minimise these impacts.”

”We’re currently reviewing routes 17 & 28. This review is to help inform the planning for the future of these services and includes potentially increasing trip frequencies from 2023.”

”We understand that these temporary changes to the route 17 schedule could cause confusion, however we need to maintain planning for the future of public transport and we encourage people to continue to have their say on these proposals. If you’d like to find out more about this consultation, please go to our Have Your Say page.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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