Due to a decline in the number of passengers commuting regularly midweek during the period of the COVID 19 restrictions we have reviewed which services it is feasible for us to continue operating. We will no longer be able to run regular daily services and will operate according to the guidelines below. Please visit the “Upcoming Services – Next 10 Days” article on our website blog to see which services are running, and which times have other passengers interested in travelling. Please book your travel by the preceding Sunday to ensure a service will run. We will be arranging other work on days without bookings, so services may not be available at short notice.
- We will continue to run a Monday morning and Friday afternoon service until the end of the current academic year in early December.
- We will likely run a Sunday afternoon service most weeks until the end of the current academic year in early December. We will however, not run this service for one passenger.
- We will run services, Monday afternoon, Tuesday to Thursday, and Friday mornings if there are minimum bookings of $65 for services to or from Ashburton or Rakaia, or $80 to or from Methven. At regular fares; for Ashburton this means one passenger doing a same day return trip for an appointment in Christchurch, for Methven it means two passengers travelling one way.
- The above minimum bookings requirement will also apply from the end of the academic year until the new academic year resumes in late January or early February 2021.
- We will be closed for Christmas holidays from Thursday 17th December to Thursday 31st December. One way services will run to and from Christchurch Airport on those days.
- If you will be living in Mid Canterbury, and working or studying in Christchurch in 2021 please consider commuting using our service, as this will allow us to resume operating regular daily services next year.
For safety reasons we will not operate services if there is snow settled on or settling on roads. This may result in the delay or cancellation of morning services from Ashburton, and may mean we are not able to operate services to and from Methven on occasion.
The information in italics is what is proposed. The information below it is what we currently do.
We are thinking about extending the Sunday service to include Hinds, Mayfield, and Geraldine in order to make it more likely that the service will run each Sunday, and also to do the same on our Friday evening service from Christchurch. This would allow passengers to commute from Geraldine to Christchurch for the week, and passengers from Christchurch and Mid Canterbury to commute to Geraldine for the weekend.
The times would look something like this. The Sunday evening service would be able to pick up in Mayfield, and the Friday evening service will be able to do so on request.
Friday Evening – departing Christchurch 5.00 pm, Rakaia 6.00 pm, Methven 6.30 pm, Ashburton 7.00 pm, Hinds 7.15 pm, Mayfield 7.35 pm, Geraldine 8.00 pm, then returning to Ashburton.
Sunday Evening – Departing Ashburton 3.15 pm, Hinds 3.30 pm, Geraldine 4.00 pm, Mayfield 4.30 pm Methven 5.00 pm, Rakaia, 5.30 pm, arriving Christchurch approximately 6.30 pm, then returning to Ashburton.
Fares would be the same as below. for Ashburton, Methven, and Rakaia. Fares for the new destinations would be as follows, 5 trip prepaid passes would be available at a 20% discount, and discounts would also be available if more than one member of the same family is travelling..
- Ashburton / Geraldine $25 one way or $45 return,
- Christchurch / Geraldine $60 one way or $100 return, siblings $35 one way or $60 return
- Christchurch / Mayfield $50 one way or $85 return, siblings $30 one way or $55 return.
- Christchurch / Hinds $45 one way or $75 return, siblings $30 one way or $55 return
We currently offer a Sunday evening service departing from Ashburton at 4.30 pm, Methven I-site at 5.00 pm and Rakaia at 5.30 pm, and a Monday morning service departing from Ashburton at 6.25 am and Rakaia at 6.50 am. It is recommended that passengers book in advance to ensure that seats are available. The Sunday evening service will only pick up in Methven and Rakaia if there are passengers booked for pick up from there by 4pm on the day of travel. The service will be cancelled if there are not at least 3 passengers booked by 9 am on the day of travel.
A Friday return service is available on the regular scheduled run from Christchurch to Ashburton at approximately 5.00 pm, It will operate via Methven if there are passengers wanting to go there.
Please let us know at least 48 hours in advance if you are planning to take large bags or bulky luggage so we can arrange a luggage trailer if necessary.
The standard fare for these services from either Ashburton or Methven is $40 one way or $65 return for the first child from each family, then $25 one way or $50 return for siblings. We offer a 20% discount for prepaying 5 trips. A one way 5 trip pass costs $160 for 5 trips in either direction ($100 for siblings). A return 5 trip pass costs $260 for 10 trips in either direction ($200 for siblings).
From Rakaia the standard fare is $30 one way or $50 return for the first child from each family, then $20 one way or $40 return for siblings, a 5 trip one way pass costs $120 ($80 for siblings), a 5 trip return pass costs $200 ($160 for siblings).
As a result of these services operating there will be two additional regular Ashburton to Methven services each week during school terms at 4.30 pm on Sundays, and approximately 6.00 pm on Fridays, and a Methven to Ashburton service at approximately 6.30 pm on Fridays. The standard fare is $15 one way or $25 return.
Scheduled services will not run unless there are prior bookings. The current booking status of scheduled services, and the number of seats available on them, are shown below. While we will run the scheduled services for one passenger, it would be appreciated if individual passengers would book on services which are already operating where their travel does not need to be on a specific day, or book as far in advance as possible to allow other individual passengers to book on the same service. It will not be viable for us to continue offering the service long term without increasing fares if we are frequently running it for one passenger. Services will not operate if there is road snow, and may be delayed or cancelled.
The Next 10 Days
Friday 27th November – No current bookings, no services available before 2.30 pm due to vehicle maintenance. Minimum bookings needed to run a service, $65 to or from Ashburton, $80 to or from Methven. The afternoon service from Christchurch can also go to Methven, Mayfield and Geraldine.
Saturday 28th November – No current bookings. Minimum 2 passengers or equivalent fare required to operate weekend services.
Sunday 29th November – No current bookings Minimum 2 passengers or equivalent fare required to operate weekend services,. Late afternoon service to Christchurch can also pick up in Methven, Mayfield, Geraldine.
Monday 30th November – Departing Ashburton 6.30 arm 10 seats available, departing Christchurch approximately 9.00 am, 10 seats available.
Tuesday 1st December – No current bookings. Minimum bookings needed to run a service, $65 to or from Ashburton, $80 to or from Methven.
Wednesday 2nd December – Departing Ashburton 1.30 pm or earlier for Methven then Christchurch, 9 seats available, departing Christchurch approximately 4.00 pm, 10 seats available.
Thursday 3rd December – No current bookings. Minimum bookings needed to run a service, $65 to or from Ashburton, $80 to or from Methven.
Friday 4th December – No current bookings, no services available before 11.00 am. Minimum bookings needed to run a service, $65 to or from Ashburton, $80 to or from Methven. The afternoon service from Christchurch can also go to Methven, Mayfield and Geraldine.
Saturday 5th December – No current bookings. Minimum 2 passengers or equivalent fare required to operate weekend services.
Sunday 6th December – No current bookings Minimum 2 passengers or equivalent fare required to operate weekend services,. Late afternoon service to Christchurch can also pick up in Methven, Mayfield, Geraldine.
Future Bookings Beyond 10 Days
Tuesday 15th December – Departing Ashburton for Christchurch via Barnhill, time to be advised, 9 seats available.
Wednesday 16th December – Departing Ashburton 10.30 am or earlier, 7 seats available, departing Christchurch approximately 1.00 pm, 10 seats available.
Thursday 17th December – One way service to Christchurch departing late morning, 10 seats available.
Closed for holidays between 17th and 31st December. No services operating.
Thursday 31st December – One way service from Christchurch Airport, departing late afternoon, 10 seats available.
Closed for vehicle maintenance between 12th and 15th January. No services operating.
We already stop at Chertsey, Fairton and the Ashburton North Industrial Estate on request for no additional charge. We will also stop after our morning off-peak service (about 10.30 to 11.00 am Monday to Friday) and before our afternoon off peak service (about 2.00 to 2.30 pm Monday to Friday) in other locations around Ashburton on request either as an add-on to travel to and from Christchurch or for travel to and from Ashburton. This travel needs to be booked 48 hours in advance. The fares are:
$10 per person each way Ashburton Airport, Lake Hood, Wakanui
$15 per person each way Coldstream, Hinds, Lauriston, Methven
$20 per person each way Mayfield, Mt Somers
We are currently not able to offer a rural service with our peak time services due to regulations restricting the length of the work day, we do however have off-street day parking options available in Ashburton for passengers wanting to use the peak time services.
There will be two additional regular Ashburton to Methven services each week during school terms at 4.30 pm on Sundays, and approximately 6.00 pm on Fridays, and a Methven to Ashburton service at approximately 6.30 pm on Fridays.
Summary of Methven Services
Ashburton to Methven
- Approximately 10.30 am and 2.00 pm Monday to Friday,
- Approximately 6.00 pm Friday,
- Approximately 4.30 pm Sunday
Methven to Ashburton
- Approximately 11.00 am and 2.30 pm Monday to Friday
- Approximately 6.30 pm Friday
Christchurch to Methven
- Approximately 9.30 am Monday to Friday
- Approximately 4.30 pm Friday
Methven to Christchurch
- Approximately 2.30 pm Monday to Friday
- 5.15 pm Sunday
We currently stop at ARA Institute, schools in Central Christchurch and along Papanui Rd, and Canterbury University and schools nearby between 7.45 am and 8.25 am Monday to Friday. The same service drops at Lincoln University at approximately 7.20 am. This service is also available to people commuting for work or appointments. The evening return service is timetabled to pick up from 5.00 pm, but will leave earlier if this suits all booked passengers.
For students and other regular commuters from Ashburton that commit to using the service at least 3 days a week for a period of a month or more, we offer a 40% discounted daily return rate to Lincoln ($30) and Christchurch ($39). From Rakaia on the same service the daily return rates for such regular passengers are $20 to Lincoln and $30 to Christchurch. For new passengers wanting to try the service your first week is $20 per day, as long as there is a minimum of 3 days travel booked by the same person to and from the same place.
For regular travellers commuting less than 3 days a week we offer a 20% discount on our standard fares in the form of a 5 ride of 10 ride prepaid pass. These passes can be used to book travel in either direction. These will only be available to passengers making 2 return trips per week while the vehicle is operating at reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements.
- Ashburton to Christchurch one way 5 trip pass $160, return 5 trip pass (10 trips) $260
- Ashburton to Lincoln or Rakaia to Christchurch one way 5 trip pass $120, return 5 trip pass (10 trips) $200
We do not currently offer the commuter service from Methven or locations other than Tinwald, Ashburton or Rakaia but there are parking options available in Ashburton and Rakaiafor those from out of town.
An accountant will tell you about 60 cents per kilometer which works out to about $2300 per month or $115 per day to commute to Christchurch from Ashburton 5 days a week. If we break it down for an average late model vehicle.
- Fuel – about $600 per month or $30 per day for a reasonably efficient model.
- Maintenance – you will need at least one extra set of tyres per year, your vehicle will need an oil change about every 5 weeks, and a new oil filter about every 10 weeks, you will need to replace belts and other filters more often, the likelihood of major mechanical problems will be increased – about $250 per month or $12 per day.
- Parking in Christchurch – about $5 per day or $100 per month
- Depreciation – the increased mileage will significantly reduce the resale value of your vehicle. For a late model vehicle this could be as much as $500 per month or $25 per day.
- Your Time – you will spend 50 to 60 hours a month driving. This is time which you are not able to use to earn an income or for other productive purposes – using the minimum wage about $1100 per month or $55 per day.
The exact figures for your vehicle may be slightly different, but clearly our regular user rate of $39 per day or about $780 per month is less than the cost for one person driving themselves, and is competitive with carpooling.
What Could You Do With 60 Extra Hours A Month?
- Learn a new language
- Write your first novel
- Get on top of the personal correspondence and financial planning
- Ace every term paper or business presentation
Using our service instead of driving yourself to Christchurch every day will give you back this time. The vision and self-discipline to make the most of it is up to you.