Thursday, 27 September 2012

Major Christchurch bus service changes for hub-spoke model

This email was sent to me in response to my submission on public consultation of Ecan's proposed bus service changes.
In June 2012 Environment Canterbury proposed changes to a number of bus routes in Christchurch and the Waimakariri District. We received over 700 submissions about these proposals. We’ve read through and considered all of these submissions, and some changes have been made to the initial proposal to reflect what we’ve heard.
The Environment Canterbury Commissioners approved the following new bus routes at their meeting on 27 September 2012:
  • 1 Rangiora and Belfast – Princess Margaret Hospital
  • 1X Rangiora – City Express (weekday peak only)
  • 17 Bryndwr – Huntsbury
  • 28 Lyttelton and Rapaki – Papanui
  • 44 North Shore
  • 60 Hillmorton – Parklands
  • 95 Waikuku Beach/Pegasus – City (weekday peak only)
  • 107 Styx Mill – Northlands
  • 108 Casebrook – Northlands
  • 111 Westmorland – Sydenham
  • 114 Cashmere – Barrington
  • 115 Murray Aynsley – Sydenham
  • 118 St Albans – Northlands
  • 119 Bishopdale – Northlands
  • 120 Burnside – Spreydon
  • 146 Marshland – The Palms
  • 951 Pegasus – Kaiapoi
  • 952 Waikuku Beach – Kaiapoi
  • Extension of The Comet service to Redwood
These services will begin operating in December 2012.
Changes to the routes proposed in the consultation have been made in the following areas:
Sheffield Crescent/Wairakei Rd
The service from the central city to Sheffield Crescent via Wairakei Rd, Strowan Rd and Rossall St will be retained following feedback about the importance of this link. The route will now travel along Roydvale Ave and Sir William Pickering Dr itself to provide better access to the businesses in this area, and will be called 17 Bryndwr – Huntsbury.
The 119 Bishopdale service will travel from Sheffield Crescent to Northlands Mall via Bishopdale Mall. Passengers wishing to continue to Merivale and the central city will connect with route 1 here.
Casebrook and Styx Mill
The routes in these areas have been reworked following feedback about directness and coverage. Route 107 Styx Mill – Northlands will travel to and from Northlands Mall via Main North Rd, Northcote Rd, Veitches Rd, Sawyers Arms Rd and Gardiners Rd (and then continue on to the Northwood Supa Centa as detailed below). Route 108 Casebrook – Northlands will travel to and from Northlands Mall via Sawyers Arms Rd, Highsted Rd, Claridges Rd, Grampian St, Cavendish Rd, Regents Park Drive and Styx Mill Rd (and will then continue on to Northwood as detailed below).
There will now be two services that travel into Northwood following concerns about the proposed coverage in this area. Route 107 Styx Mill – Northlands will begin and end at the Northwood Supa Centa, and will travel through Northwood via O’Neill Ave, Saracen Ave, Beechwood Ave and Hussey Rd (same as the current route 11 service). Route 108 Casebrook – Northlands will begin and end at Northwood Park, and travel via Northwood Boulevard (same as the current route 12 service).
Both routes 107 and 108 will travel to and from Northlands Mall, and passengers wishing to continue to Merivale and the central city will connect with route 1 here.
The bus service to Redwood will become part of The Comet route, which travels to Northlands Mall, and then on to the Sheffield Crescent area, the Airport, Avonhead and Hornby. Passengers wishing to travel to Merivale and the central city will connect with route 1 at Northlands Mall.
St Albans
The 118 St Albans service will travel between Edgeware Village and Northlands Mall. Following feedback about the difficulty in travelling from this area to the central city, the route will now have a good connection with route 28 at Edgeware Village.
The 44 North Shore service will travel via Flockton St, Westminster St, Kensington Ave, Innes Rd, Briggs Rd and Emmett St in both directions, as concern was raised about the difficulty in travelling from these streets to the central city. This service will replace the current route 45 service, and will have the same route between The Palms and North Shore.
The 146 Marshland service will travel from Alpine View Lane to The Palms via Prestons Rd, Burwood Rd, Lake Terrace Rd and Marshland Rd. Passengers wishing to travel to the central city will connect with route 60 at The Palms. No bus services will travel on Joy St.
Provision has also been made to extend this service on to Dallington in the future. This extension may or may not begin at the same time as the changes take effect, depending on the progress of road works.
Moorhouse Ave/CPIT
Following feedback about the importance of the link between the St Martins area and CPIT, route 17 Bryndwr – Huntsbury will now travel along Moorhouse Ave past CPIT.
There was significant public feedback about the removal of the direct Metro service between Woodend and Rangiora. However retention of the current service is not possible given existing patronage levels. We are working closely with the North Canterbury Minibus Trust to set up a new service between the two towns.
The new services completely replace the following Metro routes:
  • 8 Casebrook - Hoon Hay
  • 9 Wairakei
  • 11 Styx Mill - Westmorland
  • 12 Northwood - Cashmere
  • 14 Harewood -Dyers Pass
  • 15 Bishopdale - Beckenham
  • 18 St Albans - Huntsbury
  • 20 Burnside - Barrington
  • 22 Redwood - Spreydon
  • 28 Lyttelton and Rapaki
  • 45 North Shore
  • 46 Marshland
  • 60 Parklands
  • All Northern star routes (90, 92, 912 and 913)
All other existing Metro services (including The Orbiter and Metrostar) are unaffected by these changes.
Timetables for the new routes will be available from mid November 2012.
To read the media release about these network changes and see a map of full bus network that will be operating from December 2012 please click here.
If you have any questions about these changes please email, or call Metroinfo on 366 8855.
Kind regards,
The Metro team

CCC made its own submission to the Ecan plan as it turns out - disagreeing with the changes.

The route 18 to Huntsbury which I personally use to get to or from town was changed into Route 17 Bryndwr-Huntsbury with a reduction in service frequency to daytime offpeak hourly (previously half-hourly). This timetable frequency was subsequently restored to the half-hourly frequency, and illustrates that the key intention of the plan was to slash bus services, in spite of all the hype about improving services.

The cut to services is a throwback to the early 1990s when Ecan first took the services over under National's reforms to public transport provision. That was when services were required to be tendered for competition, The services we got at the time were actually very poor with a lot of very cheap tenders being awarded to operators using old and run down buses. From what I can recall Blue Star Taxis actually operated the airport service for a time using a Jap import school bus type of vehicle. I am guessing the same issue - lack of subsidised funding for the services. We have got so much better services until this recent change because big improvements in funding and consequently the standard of services were made by subsequent administrations over about a 15 year period and that includes the low floor accessible buses that run most of the routes now.