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A better way to commute for Waimakariri residents

Direct commuter buses from Rangiora and Kaiapoi to central Christchurch are proposed for when the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) opens mid next year.

Environment Canterbury, Waimakariri District Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are consulting with the Waimakariri community on a proposal for new, direct commuter bus services that would use new carpool lanes being built at the Tram Road on-ramp and on the CNC.

The Waimakariri community is being asked for input on:

• whether they support the commuter bus proposal generally;
• views on the funding portion that would be required through Environment Canterbury targeted rates to operate the buses; and,
• preferences for Park & Ride facility locations and what is offered at these sites.

Environment Canterbury senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon said the consultation is an opportunity to have a conversation with the Waimakariri community about the nature of the services proposed and their level of support for a better, more convenient way to commute.

“To provide a direct commuter service from both Rangiora and Kaiapoi would require additional Waimakariri targeted public transport rates, beyond what is currently rated for. We need to know if the community supports the concept and agrees that partly funding the proposed service via rates is a good idea.”

Public transport is funded through a combination of central government grants, fares from users and Environment Canterbury targeted local rates. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has agreed to cover its portion of the funding required and Waimakariri District Council has Park & Ride investigation work already budgeted. This leaves the portion required through Environment Canterbury rates now up for consultation.

Transport Agency director regional relationship Jim Harland said the completion of the CNC and the carpool lanes presented an opportunity to change habits early before predicted population growth led to even more vehicles being on the road.

“Carpooling and taking public transport is a good way to reduce traffic, beat rising petrol prices and help the environment. We want to provide a more balanced transport system. The proposed direct commuter bus service is a good new option for the Waimakariri community, and it will help reduce single occupancy traffic, meaning less congestion, reduced emissions and importantly, a stress-free journey for commuters.”

Waimakariri District Council will ensure Park & Ride facilities are available in both Kaiapoi and Rangiora by the time the commuter service would begin. Roading and transport manager Joanne McBride said, “These facilities will help enable the whole concept, so we want to know what locations in Rangiora and Kaiapoi people would be likely to use, and the facilities they would like to see there.”

Have your say

For full details on the proposal and how to provide feedback, head to ConnectCanterbury.co.nz.

Representatives from Environment Canterbury and Waimakariri District Council will be out and about in the community during the consultation period - here's a full list of where they’ll be and when.

Consultation is open until Sunday 8 December.


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