CCC's apparent penny-pinching dumping the free CBD Shuttle Bus raises questions as to CCC's commitment to post quake CBD revitalisation as well as it's fitness to run public transport for the region.
On its blog entry for 12 July 2011 NZ In Transit reported that Christchurch City Council (in its June agenda) appear to have permanently dropped "The Shuttle", Christchurch's iconic central business district serving free bus service. Further, the blog post reported that there was nothing to suggest there was any options explored to prevent the axing of the service.
ECan in Exile finds this astonishing at at time when CBD business groups are struggling to pave the way for recovery from the recent devastating earthquakes and encourage businesses, investors and customers to return to the CBD later this year.
Ridership figures from 2009 show the shuttles patronage exceeded 2 million, well in excess of it's target of 850,000. The shuttles patrons would appear to be just the sort needed to help lead a recovery of the CBD. According to NZ In Transit The Shuttles benefits include "being a user friendly city for tourists; in stimulating uses of buses in general, in helping attract foreign students, in creating a lively modern eco-image (The Shuttle is believed to have been the first timetabled service hybrid bus system anywhere in the world); in making inner city living possible without a car; that has been The Shuttle's real gift to the city."
We, at ECan in Exile, say axing the CBD Shuttle must call into question the CCC Bob Parker led councils fitness to fulfill its ambition to run the regional public transport system when this action appears to show that penny-pinching will win out over almost any community need or values.
In line with their seeming arms length distant approach to post quake recovery we are not aware of this governments appointed ECan Commissioners making any public comment on the issue.