The impending adoption by all relevant local authorities of the Greater Christchurch Metro Strategy is set to promote more frequent bus services, faster trips, Park and Ride services and an increase passenger trips per annum from the 17.28 million in 2009 to 30 million by 2020.
It remains to be seen what array of other initiatives will be adopted as part of this strategy, but it is excellent to see that improving public transport is set to play an important part in the future growth of Christchurch. See here for an outline of basic mechanism I previously listed to improve our current public transport system.
UPDATE: There are now more details about the strategy available. Here is a list of the targets:
– Travel time and reliability, including more bus lanes and improving the behaviour of other road users to let the bus go first.
– Service information, including better information about approaching buses at bus stops.
– Service frequency and coverage, including cross-city routes.
– The new bus interchange, scheduled to open in 2014.
– Suburban passenger facilities, including park-and-ride options and safer, more comfortable bus stops.
– Customer service, including better driver standards.
I must say its more or less in line with some of the basic initiatives that I have been hoping for. Perhaps they read this blog (I can but hope!)? I will go over some of this strategy in some detail in the next few days, but its interesting to note that 60 percent of the costs of the strategy will be covered by central government. It’s about time, although still a long way off the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent in Auckland and Wellington I’m sure. Anyway, its great to see this commitment by the local authorities and central government toward public transport in Christchurch. There is still a long long way to go but this is good news and the aim to increase average trips per person on public transport from 46 per year to 75 is optimism we want to see.