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Time to try the best bus system in Australasia

December 13, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT

Time to try the best bus system in Australasia, says ECan councillor

Environment Canterbury councillor Nicky Wagner, chair of the public passenger transport portfolio, says this is the year for anyone living in or visiting Christchurch to try the best public transport system in Australia and New Zealand.

“The Christchurch Metro system is the best and most economical public passenger transport system on both sides of the Tasman,” Cr Wagner says.

A transport study comparing the two countries’ public transport growth showed that Christchurch led the way in the years 1990 - 2005 with 43 per cent growth in that time. Second was Brisbane at 35%, Wellington recorded 19% growth, and Auckland 3 %. “Australian transport planners have visited us to find out what we are doing right compared to other cities,” Cr Wagner says.

Some of the study’s points are:
- Christchurch had the greatest relative increase in bus boardings from 1990 – 2005 with significant growth in bus use per head of population
- Christchurch had the lowest average fares - $19 with a metro card maximum weekly cost for most Christchurch bus travellers
- Christchurch had the lowest public funding (ie targeted ECan rate) per boarding
- The city’s integrated planning, ticketing and real time information systems significantly contributed to Metro’s growth in popularity
- Christchurch buses fleets were the lowest average age
- Christchurch had the highest percentage of low-floor, wheelchair friendly buses.

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“The growth in Christchurch can be attributed to investment in additional capacity and frequency, a redesign of services and integration of the passenger transport system,” the study says.

Cr Wagner says it’s good to get independent endorsement of Christchurch’s Metro system and time for anyone who doesn’t normally catch the bus to give it a go and see how good it is. “Just see how it feels to enjoy the scenery rather than second-guessing the rest of the traffic, and have no parking hassles or worries about having a second drink if you are out socialising. “

ENDS

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