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'New Era' For City Centre, Says Cr

'New Era' For City Centre, Says Cr

A Christchurch Councillor says when the Bus Exchange is opened with its car park on top it will mark a new era for the central city.

Cr. Denis O'Rourke, chairman of the Christchurch City Council's City Services Committee, said this at a topping off ceremony at the parking building of the Bus Exchange today and added that the completion of the building would mark a big leap forward for public transport in the city. He said the Bus Exchange would see public transport improvements that had been made possible by Environment Canterbury, the City Council and the Carter Group working together.

"This Bus Exchange will bring a really good result for public transport and I hope many people will use it," Cr. O'Rourke said.

"Its completion will mark a new era for the central city. It shows that partnerships can work in the city," he said.

When the complex was finished it would form one of the biggest indoor shopping malls in Christchurch. The combined shopping area that would be under cover would cover more than two hectares, Cr. O'Rourke said.

The chairman of Environment Canterbury, Richard Johnson, said the Bus Exchange would be user-friendly with real-time bus information.

The $20 million Bus Exchange would add to the improvements made in recent years to the bus network by the council, Mr Johnson said. These include the Orbiter service, low-level buses, and improved frequencies on some routes. There was also the Shuttle service.

"An improved public transport service is good for the environment and beneficial for the community," Mr Johnson said. Bus use was up by 10 per cent than at the same time last year and it was up 13 per cent on some routes, Mr Johnson said.

Developer Philip Carter, of the Carter Group, said the complex would be finished six months earlier than expected because all parties had worked hard and together.

Further information: Dave Hinman, City Council project co-ordinator: 371 1804.

Sam Fisher Corporate Communication Co-ordinator Christchurch City Council 03 371-1762 025 229 3552

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