Thursday,  18 November 2021

Go Bus has this month commenced operation of seven new electric vehicles on Metro Christchurch services in partnership with Environment Canterbury, as the city’s fleet of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles grows. 

By the end of this year, 28% of Metro’s fleet will be electric or ultra-low emission thanks to a further 18 new electric buses, growing to 40% in the next two years. 

It is the second fleet of electric buses to hit Kinetic’s network in New Zealand, with Go Bus introducing South Auckland’s first fully electric bus service with Auckland Transport (AT) in January. The AirportLink service includes nine electric buses that provide key transport connections to Auckland Airport.

Christchurch’s new electric and zero emissions vehicles will be tested and monitored on the popular Orbiter route to ensure their suitability for the greater Christchurch network, before purchasing decisions are made for further new vehicles beyond 2022.

Reducing your carbon footprint

Environment Canterbury Councillor Peter Scott said that he hopes the electric Orbiter will help people connect their transport choices with their carbon footprint. 

“Electric vehicles help us stay ahead, but taking the bus is already one of the best choices you can make,” he said. 

Matt O’Malley has managed the Orbiter service for its entire lifetime, as operations manager for Go Bus and, before that, Leopard. He said that the Orbiter has been a long-time favourite route in Christchurch, due to its high frequency and connected suburban route. 

“The Orbiter comes along in each direction at a high-frequency.  It was a natural choice for our deployment of this next group of electric vehicles, the high profile of the route ensuring that many people will have a chance to ride on the electric bus,” he said. 

Every ride makes a difference 

Cr Scott said that awareness of the new electric vehicles will further improve their impact. 

“Simply taking the bus makes a difference, whether it is electric or not.  Kiwis drive 49 billion kilometres a year, and more than a billion of these are short car trips under two kilometres.  

“Research shows that often, people don’t connect their car use with their carbon footprint, but we all now know the importance of taking steps to reduce our environmental impact. 

“Making the choice to jump on a bus is easier when it is frequent, which is one of the aspects we’re focusing on improving across greater Christchurch. When that bus is electric, naturally the benefits are even greater, but driving less is one of the best ways you can reduce your carbon footprint,” Cr Scott said. 

Visit the website of Environment Canterbury Regional Council here.