Mini bus drives to the rescue

Thursday 29 November 2012, 2:05PM
By Environment Canterbury


A new dial-a-ride mini-bus service will soon come into operation between Rangiora and Woodend, taking over from the Metro service when it is discontinued.

The North Canterbury Mini Bus Trust are going to operate the door-to-door service once the changes to the Greater Christchurch Metro network come into effect in early December this year.

“The trust is going to provide a service to replace the current shuttle service,” says David Stenhouse, Environment Canterbury’s Passenger Services Manager. “They will offer set trips throughout the day, and because the service will pick up from the passengers door in Woodend it will give people a greater accessibility than what is available currently.

“This service is aimed at those passengers who are elderly, disabled or otherwise transport disadvantaged. Young people will be encouraged to use the Metro urban services via Kaiapoi.

The cost of the service will be three dollars one way, and will need to be booked through Presbyterian Support the day before – no bookings will be taken on the day of travel.

“It is also important to note that the mini bus will not run if no bookings are made, so passengers are urged to plan ahead.”

The dial-a-ride service will use volunteer drivers and is unique to the area. It is modelled on the Mini Bus Trust’s current services of providing transportation for elderly and disabled people between their homes and places such as supermarkets, doctor’s surgeries and community activities in North Canterbury townships.

Trustee Don Fairbrother explains that the trust was set up 26 years ago, though the mini bus service they’ve been running is a slightly more recent addition to the charitable trust’s work. The trust receives support from a number of business’s in the Waimakariri area as well as from Environment Canterbury.