New late-night bus service

by Mike Isle

Selwyn residents now have a late-night travel option to take them home after a night on the town.

Christchurch transport operator Bentley Transport has started a late-night bus service from Christchurch’s CBD to Rolleston via Lincoln. Simultaneously, it is trialling a similar service from Christchurch to Rangiora.

Both services depart the Central Bus Exchange at 1am and 3am Sunday mornings. The Rolleston service has stops at Christchurch Hospital, Westfield Riccarton, Church Corner, Prebbleton, Lincoln University and ends at Kidman Street, Rolleston. Prices range from $7 to $12 depending on the distance travelled.

Bentley’s managing director and founder Liam Bentley said Rolleston had been without a late-night public service since the 2011 earthquakes, which saw the cancellation of the After Midnight Express bus route.

“Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland all run late-night buses for those enjoying their Saturday nights,” he said. The new bus service has a safety focus. Bentley said heavily intoxicated people would not be allowed to board and consumption of alcohol would not be permitted on the bus.

The buses were equipped with 4G internet-based security cameras, GPS-enabled panic buttons, and drivers undertook special customer service training designed to safely and effectively manage difficult situations.

“Our customers can benefit from other initiatives, such as large screens on-board playing music videos, USB chargers, Wi-Fi and food and refreshments,” Bentley said.

On its first venture on Sunday night, the Rolleston route attracted 13 passengers, two of whom stopped at Lincoln with the rest travelling to Rolleston.

Liam Bentley said the route would be trialled for six months and if successful the company will consider trialling other routes.

Details, including timetables, are on the company’s website bentleytransport.co.nz.