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Metro’s Orbiter - 10 successful years

July 13, 2009


Metro’s Orbiter - 10 successful years of getting people around Christchurch
Christchurch’s Metro flagship and most popular bus, the Orbiter, turns ten this week.

“The Orbiter is Christchurch’s most successful route,” says Environment Canterbury public passenger transport chair Cr Carole Evans. “Its bright green livery is a cheerful sight in the greyest of weather. It arrives every ten to 15 minutes and takes people to the places they want to go – malls, pools, Princess Margaret Hospital and the university. “

The Orbiter accounts for 12 per cent of all bus journeys made in Christchurch. It provides a circular bus route around the city’s key attractions, in both directions, weekdays and weekends. Leopard Coachlines is the contractor for the Orbiter.

“When it was launched ten years ago, it attracted people to Metro who did not normally board a bus, which is what we want Metro to continue to do,” says Cr Evans.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, on Friday, July 17, live entertainers will be on board selected Orbiters from 10 am to provide some extra fun.

“Metro is a success story that Environment Canterbury and Christchurch people should be proud of,” says Cr Evans. “We have come a long way to today’s modern, responsive system with real-time information at over 500 bus stops, Metrocards which save money and are more secure than cash and a robust review system which ensures buses continue to go where people want them to go. “

• 2008/09 was a strong year for Metro in greater Christchurch with more than 17 million trips made, up 4% on the previous year.

• Improvements are continually being made with internet-able Metrocard ticketing available soon and the development of bus priority lanes on key routes like Papanui Rd, Hills Rd and Colombo St.

• Around 10 per cent of all central city workers use public transport regularly, and overall around 4% of Christchurch people use Metro to get to work and back. (NB: this does not include students or school pupils who make up a sizeable part of the Metro market).

• In a recent survey of 700 people living in Greater Christchurch, 40% said they had used Metro in the previous three months.

• Environment Canterbury encourages people to continue to use Metro and for people who have not tried it yet, to have a go – the Orbiter is a good place to start. Metro is a sustainable, social and enjoyable transport choice.


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