Bus trial extended
by Mike Isle
Trial commuter bus services in Darfield and Leeston will continue for a further four months, with the Leeston service being extended to include Southbridge.
Environment Canterbury senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon confirmed that funding had been made available through the Environment Canterbury annual plan process to allow the trial services until the end of October.
“It’s encouraging to see the strong level of support from the Selwyn community to continue these services. We’re happy to confirm they will continue to be provided on a trial basis, meaning that we are likely to test out different options to see further growth in patronage, particularly for the Leeston service,” he said.
In the first instance, this will involve extending the Leeston service to and from Southbridge. Environment Canterbury’s public transport team is working now on confirming the exact route extension to Southbridge and the timing for implementation of this and will inform the community as soon as possible.
Boarding numbers for both services remained relatively steady through May, with an average of around 45 boardings a day on the Darfield service and around 30 a day on the Leeston service. Selwyn District Council Mayor Sam Broughton says the council is pleased with the result, which it supported through a submission to the Annual Plan.
“As a council, we advocated for these buses on behalf of our community. It’s great to see such a good uptake of the service, allowing Environment Canterbury to continue the trial, to look at areas for improvement and hopefully to the services being implemented permanently.”