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Metro route 87 Southbridge to Lincoln trial to end

Wednesday, May 15, 2024   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: public, transport, planning

Environment Canterbury media release: 15th May 2024

The trial of Route 87 Southbridge to Lincoln will end on 27th June 2024, due to low patronage.

Those who use the service will need to begin planning alternative methods of transport.

"We know this will be disappointing for the community, particularly those who use the service regularly," Public Transport general manager Stewart Gibbon said.   

“We want to thank those who did support the trial. It’s been a pleasure helping you commute over the past five or so years,” he added.

Passenger numbers low

A review of weekly Metrocard usage from January to April 2024, noted an average of 32 customers using the service in a week, with the average falling to just 14 people using the service three or more times a week, including return trips.

Stewart said usage has been low from the beginning.

“We’ve worked closely with the community from the start of the trial in 2019, to give it every opportunity for success, including amending the route structure, timetable and connecting it with direct services from Lincoln into Christchurch city,” he said.

“Despite this, it never met its monthly targets of 800 passenger trips to make it a viable service."

The trial of Route 87 was extended several times following the impacts of COVID-19.  

Stewart said the community was encouraged to make the most of the service, but sadly the low patronage figures meant it became unfeasible.

“Over the trial, we never saw the demand we hoped for and required. Even with the reduced fares through the government 50 per cent off fares initiative and our $2 flat fare trial that followed, the service hasn’t shown sustainable patronage figures,” Stewart said.

View the current Route 87 Southbridge to Lincoln timetable (MetroInfo).

Bus routes from Rolleston or Lincoln

“Our routes to the city from Rolleston or Lincoln are still available, and we encourage Route 87 customers to consider connecting to these popular services if they can,” Stewart said. 

The targeted public transport rate the Leeston, Southbridge and Dolyeston communities pay for this service was not included in our draft Long-Term Plan (LTP) 2024-2034, so locals will stop paying for this from 1st July 2024 once the plan is adopted.

“Some in the community may remember we created Route 86 Darfield to the city at a similar time. We're really pleased with how this service has been going. We've had an incredible amount of support for it, which has seen us bring in a double-decker bus to help keep up with demand,” Stewart said.

Find out about Route 86 Darfield to City service (MetroInfo).

"There are also plans to enhance frequencies on the existing direct services from Lincoln and Rolleston in our draft LTP 2024-34 under the PT Futures programme," he added.

Find out more about the Public Transport Futures programme (Environment Canterbury).

You can find more information on timetables, stops and park and ride options on the MetroInfo website.

Find out m