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To: Hon Simeon Brown

Fund public transport in Greater Christchurch

A metro bus is parked outside a bus stop.
We are asking Minister of Transport Simeon Brown to fund the Greater Christchurch Public Transport Futures Programme (‘PT Futures’)[1], endorsed by the Greater Christchurch Councils (Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Waimakariri District and Environment Canterbury (‘ECan’) and by the NZ Transport Agency (‘NZTA’).

PT Futures will deliver a fit-for-purpose public transport system for New Zealand's second largest city, by increasing the frequency of the busiest bus routes to every ten minutes or better by 2028, adding additional direct services to the key centres in Waimakariri and Selwyn, and include new bus lanes, infrastructure such as bus shelters, and real-time displays.

Why is this important?

Well-funded public transport systems create healthy, connected cities which are better for the public and for the climate. Improving the frequency, reach and quality of public transport services in Greater Christchurch will ultimately benefit the whole community. 

Greater Christchurch is growing rapidly - a 10% population growth from 2018 to 2023, far higher than the national average of 6%, and much of that growth located in the Selwyn (29% increase) and Waimakariri (11% increase) regions [2]. More planning is required to ensure that Greater Christchurch remains a liveable, accessible city.

A city of Christchurch’s size requires a good public transport system, one that gives residents an alternative to car dependency. Car usage is becoming increasingly expensive, especially as Greater Christchurch continues to sprawl, locking in longer journeys.

Public transport usage in Christchurch is increasing, with almost one-third of Christchurch residents having used it at least once in 2023, and 14.3 million trips a year [3], but requires investment to become accessible for all residents. Christchurch residents have made this clear in their submissions on ECan’s Long-Term Plan - 64% of submitters want improved public transport. 

We envision a city where residents can access safe and sheltered bus stops close to their homes, and be able to get where they want to go with convenience. A city where our streets and roads are not congested with traffic, and safe and enjoyable places to get around, whether on foot, cycling, in a car, or by bus. As transport makes up over 50% of Christchurch’s greenhouse gas emissions [4], and contributes to our air pollution problem, which kills 800 people a year in Christchurch alone [5], moving more people onto public and active transport is good for our health and good for the planet.

As outlined above, there is a plan, which has already been agreed to by the various councils and NZTA - the PT Futures plan. 

However, to implement the plan, Central Government funding is required [6]. The Government have pulled back on an earlier commitment of 78 million in funding towards the project. Despite $2.7 billion in funding for transport announced in the budget in May, there were no funds earmarked for public transport in Christchurch [7]. Given the importance of investment in public transport in Greater Christchurch, there is still time for additional funds to be found. Unlike the proposed rural highway projects, funding public transport will dramatically speed up getting to places within the city.

Public transport in Christchurch has long been neglected. Oliver Lewis of BusinessDesk wrote a great article titled “Christchurch misses out in transport funding lottery” [8], which highlights the disparity of funding for transport that Christchurch receives compared to Auckland and Wellington, and is worthwhile reading.

We ask Simeon Brown to invest in Greater Christchurch and support the PT Futures plan, which will turbo-charge public transport in Ōtautahi.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2024-07-02 13:58:37 +1200

500 signatures reached

2024-06-12 10:16:27 +1200

100 signatures reached

2024-06-12 04:28:05 +1200

50 signatures reached

2024-06-11 22:18:50 +1200

25 signatures reached

2024-06-11 21:36:24 +1200

10 signatures reached