Go Bus had been operating in Christchurch for just 10 weeks before the earthquake hit on February 22, 2011.
On the morning of the earthquake, staff and bus shortages had made day to day operation especially stressful for the new team in Christchurch. I was in the middle of a meeting in Auckland when the tremor hit. I was informed moments later of the sizable earthquake that had hit Christchurch, it had knocked down a grain silo and smashed four cars at our main depot.
As the day progressed, we realized the severity and violence of the 6.3 earthquake. There was an anxious period of unknowns for our team during the day as staff, family and friends remained uncontactable. On the 23rd and the 24th of February I flew to Christchurch from Auckland for the day to offer my support during this highly stressful time. Thankfully, all our staff were accounted for and no lives were lost. We immediately set up a Go Bus Hardship Fund to help Christchurch staff get back on their feet.
Whilst getting a bus network back in place was a priority, so much had to be done just to get roads open. It was many weeks before ECan and Go Bus were able to re-piece a bus network together, but we did it, helping to get Christchurch up and moving, as difficult as it was.
Over the years, Christchurch city has slowly re-invented itself. Go Bus has grown with it, and we are proud to provide quality transport to the Christchurch community. Today we remember the lives that were lost and the devastation the earthquake caused, but most importantly we recognize the strength of the growing Christchurch community and how far the city has come in eight years.
Kia Kaha Christchurch.