Off the Buses: ECan’s response

Posted on May 27, 2011 by

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Two days ago, bus patronage numbers came out for the post-quake months. Today, ECan commissioner Rex Williams outlined the situation from Metro’s perspective.

Obviously, Metro’s resources have been pretty beaten up by the earthquake – the loss of the Exchange (plus all the passengers for the CBD), limited/no access to offices, broken roads, heavy congestion, sudden changes in communting destinations, and so on. ECan only got grid power yesterday – Metro’s website was running off generators that were shut down daily for maintenance. In the previous post, there were a couple of questions which Williams gets close to answering:

  • Is there scope to provide further cross-town services that bypass the CBD?

The two cross-suburban services, the Metrostar and the Orbiter, are proving more resilient than the traditional spoke-and-wheel services…

The Orbiter has suffered pretty badly from congestion and bunching problems – though this isn’t new.So, yes, the strength of the cross-suburb routes is probably a good indicator that they’ll be looked at even more favourably, and that we can expect more developments there – maybe new routes.

  • Is having multiple CBD bus terminals a good idea?

A free shuttle service ferries people between the two depots. The disadvantage is that if you live on the opposite side of town to where you work or go to school, you may have three separate bus trips each way.

Integrated connections are always a better option, so it’s good to see the recognition there. There’s been quite a bit of talk round this in regards to the new bus exchange as well as the rail station debate, so it may also shape the future design of the network.

low-performing routes, like the 740 Governors Bay service, remain on hold in an effort to keep on top of expenditure.

That’s a shame about the Governor’s Bay route. It only lasted a month, and was quite experimental for Metro.

Finally, there’s one comment that jumped out at me – maybe I’m reading into it too much (emphasis mine).

However, until a new public transport system is ready to be rolled out, Environment Canterbury will continue to run the Metro system

Hmmmm.

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