Get onboard the 87 bus - or lose it

The Southbridge to Lincoln bus service is at risk of being cancelled if patronage doesn’t improve...
The Southbridge to Lincoln bus service is at risk of being cancelled if patronage doesn’t improve. Photo: Supplied
Use it or lose it. That is the message from Environment Canterbury about one of its bus services.

The Southbridge to Lincoln Metro bus service, route 87, is at risk of being cancelled if patronage does not improve.

“The trial has now been extended a number of times and will be reviewed in early 2024 to decide on the future of the service,” an ECan spokesperson said.

The service operates three trips a day aimed at commuters and students starting at 6.43am from Southbridge to Lincoln, with return services at 4.11pm, and 6.08pm from Lincoln to Southbridge.

This year 11 people on average used the 6.43am bus, five used the 4.11pm bus and three used the 6.08pm bus.

The average passenger numbers reached a peak in March, with 16 people using the morning service.

“Though used daily by some residents, the route will need to see more usage to be considered a viable service in the future,” the spokesperson said.

In July ECan introduced a $2 flat rate fare between its different bus zones.

“With no more zones, travel is significantly cheaper for residents living in areas such as Leeston and Southbridge when travelling to Christchurch or further afar.”

A $1 fare is available for Community Services Card and Total Mobility Card holders, people aged 13-24 and tertiary students.

Travel is free for under 5s, ages 5-12 with a Metrocard, and Super Gold card holders from 9am Monday to Friday and anytime on a weekend and public holiday.

The trial of Route 87 will now continue until June 30, 2024.

“We encourage the residents of Southbridge and Leeston to make use of this service.

“By taking advantage of these cheaper fares and using the bus, the community can demonstrate the need and demand for a public transport service in their area.”