Bus Exchange, Christchurch
On 25 October the two temporary bus exchanges will merge into one single central bus exchange which will make connecting bus journeys easier and quicker.
The new exchange will not be on the same site as the old one that is still in the 'red zone' the area closed after the quake.
NEW: The new exchange will be at 52 Lingfield street and buses will run straight through their entire routes again, rather than terminating midway at the temporary bus exchanges. Timetables will all change on the 25th October to reflect this.
Well there are many ways to get to and from Christchurch. If you are coming from overseas it will have to be by plane but once in New Zealand there are many options. If you don't mind long bus rides the bus trips are a great way to see New Zealand and also on day trips from Christchurch. Of course there is always national flights and for something different you could also try the train.
The best way to get around Christchurch if you don't hire a rental car is by bus. The bus exchange is now a focal point of the city and provides up to date information and a friendly service. Buses are frequent and reliable and a great way to see everything.
A new system has just been introduced for the buses on October 27th 2003 called the metro card. This card costs a minimum of NZD$10 and can be used on all buses. As an example a trip to and from the city to most places will cost only $1.90 using the card for less than 2 hours up to a maximum of $3.80 per day. If you don't have a card it will cost $2.50 per adult and $1.30 per child for 2 hours only. More information is available at the bus exchange on Lichfield Street.
The Bus Exchange is located at the Crossing in central Christchurch. All Bus routes go via here and for $2.50 (price increase from 28/11/05) you can get anywhere in Christchurch. There are 4 platforms. A, B and C are inside with platform D on Colombo St (you can see it in the photo).
If you haven't already grabbed a timetable from the Information Centre (see my general tips) you can get on from inside the Exchange. All departing buses are displayed on large digital boards so you can see how long it is until your next bus is going. The website below will let you plan ahead - if you like to do that sort of thing!
With many locations there are several buses that go near where you want to go so grab a bus map of the part of town you are heading off to - there may be a bus departing sooner than you thought!!
The Bus Exchange is only a block & a half South of Cathedral Square on Colombo St.
Christchurch has the best bus interchange facility I've seen, even in a city triple its size. Simply amazing!
Buses disappear from the street into what looks like a multi storey carpark, and in the centre is the glassed in huge waiting area, with all facilities like phones, toilets, and glass exit doors like the gates in an airport. Electronic timetable and voice announcements announce the buses, where they're going, etc. People can wait in comfort in the waiting area, and move off when their bus arrives.
Up the escalators is another huge area, with timetable information and ticket office.
The airport bus leaves from right outside (downstairs, outside the transit garage)
If I remember rightly, it's in Litchfield Street, not far from the corner of Litchfield and Manchester.
For a bit of an introductory tour of Christchurch, you can take the free bus which goes around a few streets of the city centre, with about 8 or so stops, including Cathedral Square.
It's new, comfortable, and a good way to get your bearings.
Just look for the specially marked bus stops (below) to catch it.
The buses are bright yellow, so easy to distinguish from the normal buses, which are red.
A Day Pass is your passport to the area of the city covered by bus services and the many attractions and activities on each bus route. All you need to do is buy a Red Bus Day Pass.
A Single adult Day Pass costs $7.00. A Family pass (2 adults and 3 children) costs $15.00.
Red Bus Day passes are available from your Bus driver or Metroinfo at the crossing.
The Pass is valid all day from 6:15 am - 11:30pm.
The buses some decent routes in this town, but they don't come along very often. Expect to wait up to an hour if it's not during the business day.
These are the city buses of Christchurch. There's a $5 all day ticket you can get (but you might need to check at the Bus Exchange as to how far you can ride for that).