Would the fares on the new bus be higher?

No – fares for the proposed new service would be the same as Metro fares for the existing Blue Line and 95 services. 

Would the direct commuter buses replace the Blue Line or 95?

No – the proposed commuter service would be in addition to the current Metro services, the Blue Line and the 95. 

The proposed new direct buses would only stop at Park and Ride facilities, travelling directly to the central city and not servicing other stops within Rangiora or Kaiapoi, or elsewhere along the route.

The Blue Line and 95 will also provide access to destinations that the direct buses wouldn’t, for example, Northlands Mall.

Can I use the Park & Ride facilities if I want to take the Blue Line or 95 instead?

Yes – the Park & Ride facilities will be serviced by the Blue Line and 95 services, stopping either at each Park & Ride itself, or nearby.

Can I use the Park & Ride facilities if I’m going to carpool instead of bus?

Yes – you can choose to drive, cycle, or walk to a Park & Ride, and connect with either a bus or carpool. 

How were the proposed Park and Ride facility locations chosen?

Existing facilities or available sites that met certain criteria, such as size, accessibility, etc. were chosen for the short to medium-term locations.

The catchment population that would be served was also considered, as well as ensuring the facility would be serviced by the Blue Line and 95 routes that will come into effect in early 2020 as part of the recent Waimakariri bus service review. 

Will other areas outside of Rangiora and Kaiapoi get a Park & Ride facility?

Park & Ride facilities would initially be provided in north, central and south Rangiora, as well as in central and south Kaiapoi. The aim is to utilise and improve existing facilities in the short-term, but it is possible that new sites could be required in the future as demand increases, and as growing centres in other parts of the district, such as Woodend and Pegasus, develop further. 

The proposed Park & Ride locations will be open to residents from anywhere in the district – for example, if you live in the Pegasus and Woodend areas, or somewhere along or near Tram Road, you could park your vehicle at one of the Kaiapoi Park & Ride facilities and take the direct bus to central Christchurch. This is also the case for Fernside, Ashley, Sefton and Loburn residents, who may use one of the Rangiora facilities.

Could the proposed commuter services start from Woodend or Pegasus?

This is something that could be considered. However, a longer service would have a higher cost, which would need to be covered by a lower number of trips or a higher rate.

Do we already pay a targeted rate for public transport services?

Yes – Waimakariri residents pay a targeted local rate to Environment Canterbury for public transport service. This is either an urban or rural rate, depending on where you live (check your latest rates bill or see waimakariri.govt.nz to find of what rate you pay). 

The proposed commuter service would require additional Waimakariri urban and rural targeted public transport rates (beyond what is already rated for), as the current funding from rates is already fully allocated to the existing Metro services. 

Why are residents outside of Rangiora and Kaiapoi being asked to pay a higher targeted public transport rate too?

There are two Waimakariri public transport rates. The urban one is higher and covers townships in the eastern part of the district - Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Pegasus and Waikuku. The lower rural rate covers the rest of the district, excluding Lees Valley, to reflect the lower benefit to these areas. Using this rating structure, it isn't possible to define rates to a more granular level.

The proposed services will be open to residents from anywhere in the district – for example, if you live in the Pegasus and Woodend areas, or somewhere along or near Tram Road, you could park your vehicle at one of the Kaiapoi Park & Ride facilities and take the direct bus to central Christchurch. This is also the case for Fernside, Ashley, Sefton and Loburn residents, who may use one of the Rangiora facilities.

Could the proposed services be fully user-pays, rather than putting up rates?

Public transport across New Zealand is funded by a combination of central government grants, fares from users, and targeted local rates. It needs to be structured this way in order to access central government grants. If there is not sufficient contribution from rates, it is unlikely we would be able to receive central government funding for the service. 

Learn more about funding the new service.

Will this proposal affect my Waimakariri District Council (WDC) rates?

No – WDC has already budgeted to provide Park & Ride facilities over the coming years. If the final works stay within the existing budget, then there would be no further effect on rates.

Why wasn’t this part of the previous consultation about Waimakariri bus services?

The Waimakariri bus service review consultations held in May and July looked at what changes could be made to the existing Metro network to improve connections in the district, within existing funding. A summary of the confirmed changes is available here and these are due to be implemented on-street from early 2020.

The current consultation on the new commuter services is in partnership with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Waimakariri District Council and follows a different process and timing. 

I live in Waikuku, what’s happening with our current bus service?

Options to keep a level of service for Waikuku are still being investigated and we will be in touch with Waikuku residents once this is complete.

When will the new motorway be open?

The Christchurch Northern Corridor and carpool lanes are scheduled to open mid-2020. 

What is the timeline for the consultation process?

Consultation began Monday 11 November and is open until Sunday 8 December. We expect to be able to provide an update on the feedback received during the consultation early in the new year. 

Next steps and timing will be determined based on the feedback we receive from the community.

If the proposed services are approved, they, and the Park & Ride facilities, will be in place as close as practicable to the opening of the Christchurch Northern Corridor and carpool lanes.