It’s really good news for Selwyn/south-west commuters from November, as Ecan commissioners have recently approved a new fare structure to cover the new Selwyn Star services being introduced from that month. Fares will drop by $9 a week on the current metrocard fare, from $42 to $33 while travel within the zone will cost a maximum of $23 a week with the metrocard.
The decision to restructure fares is an attempt to make public transport more competitive with car travel, and to resolve what is described as ‘fare and zoning anomalies’. There is no doubt in my mind that the new fare structure will be very much welcomed by commuters. Now all we need is some park and ride facilities! Ecan also announced that a similar flat-fare structure would be introduced to the Waimakariri area, but probably not for another year due to the need to align with the current review of the Northern Star services.
In addition to the fare restructuring, Ecan have confirmed details of the new Selwyn Star bus services, which appear to be modelled on the successful Northern Star concept. There will be three services in all; the existing Lincoln service (81), a direct Rolleston-City service (88) and a Selwyn shuttle service (820) linking Burnham, Rolleston, Springston and Lincoln. The #81 will have increased weekend services while the #88 will have half-hourly off-peak frequencies. The #820 will run hourly during weekdays and every two hours on weekends. All three services will be run by Leopard Coachlines and buses will wear a bright yellow livery, in the same vein as the Northern Stars powder blue livery I would imagine.
This is all great news, the fare restructuring especially. There is no doubt that this is going to be a vast improvement on what we had before, the changes made are logical and in line with what I have previously proposed and hoped for. I for one am very pleased, particularly as someone who previously used the (awful) bus services from Rolleston (I often car pooled to Prebbleton to catch the #81 instead). It would be fantastic if there were some great new facilities to go with this, such as park/cycle and ride facilities at Lincoln, Prebbleton and Rolleston, and perhaps upgraded bus stop facilities at these places as well. Surely Rolleston can’t be too far off a loop service similar to that proposed for Rangiora either. A Rolleston-City rail service would have been cherry on the top (I’m allowed to dream!). Maybe next time. All in all though, I have to say this is going to be great for the area and should have a positive flow on effect for the rest of the system. Good news.