Free bus and ferry trips coming to an end in Chch, Timaru

Photo: Newsline / CCC
Photo: Newsline / CCC
Public bus and ferry trips will no longer be free in Christchurch and Timaru from June 15.

Free fares have been in place since the country went into alert level 4. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to make an announcement on Monday around when New Zealand will move to level 1.

Environment Canterbury manages the region's public transport networks. Its senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon says although passengers will be charged for travel on local bus services and the Diamond Harbour Ferry from June 15, Metrocards, which usually cost $10, are being provided free this month to encourage contactless payments.

"During our response to Covid-19, we’ve all become used to the simplicity of paying with contactless methods whenever we can," he said. 

"We would like to support our customers to continue this when they use public transport, and so we will be providing Metrocards free of charge all month."

The Ministry of Health has approved the use of cash on public transport but Metrocards provide access to cheaper fares," Gibbon said.

“Your cash takes you further as fares are at least 25 per cent less with a Metrocard. They also provide capped daily and weekly fares, and the card’s credit amount is secure if the card is registered and subsequently stolen.”

Metrocards are available at the Metroinfo Counter in the Christchurch Bus Interchange, at participating agencies, and will soon be available online, he said.

Customers who register their card in June also go in the draw to win one of 10 $100 New World vouchers.

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter