This comprehensive review of Christchurch’s bus network had two distinct parts. The first involved high level scoping analysis of bus corridor routes and the development of a priority list for implementing/improving each of these corridors. The second part of the project involved a review of Environment Canterbury’s (ECAN) move away from a radial network to an urban interchange-based system, and the impact that would have on the community.
To determine which routes would benefit the most from enhancement we focused on efficiency, the key factor people rely on to decide whether to use public transport or not. We isolated the least reliable routes and placed them at the top of the priority list, then set about developing strategies for the creation of corridors along those routes. When reviewing the network as a whole we identified key areas, or hubs, within the network that we believed would be suitable locations for suburban interchanges.
The study proved useful in ways no one could have envisaged, with ECAN calling on the research we had conducted to re-evaluate their entire network immediately after the Canterbury earthquakes. They used our GIS model to decide how to configure temporary routes, running various scenarios and options through our system to determine which option would provide the most coverage. Our findings are still being used to inform current planning, with ECAN continuing to develop their urban transport hub concept.