Corona Virus & Availability of Services

Level 1 Services

Services will operate as normal, with no limitation on seating, and normal fares applying. Contract tracing requirements mean that all passengers must provide at least 2 of their residential address, email address or mobile phone number at the time of booking.

Level 2 Services

We will operate two services from Ashburton to Christchurch Monday to Friday and a Sunday afternoon return service via Methven. This will be subject to demand, services will only operate if there are bookings, and minimum booking requirements will apply. See below under Level 2 Fares for details. In order to comply with social distancing requirements, our capacity will be reduced to 6 passengers, unless passengers are from the same bubble. There will be an empty seat next to each passenger from different bubbles.

Level 2 Fares

Standard fares will apply, however as the capacity of the vehicle is reduced, we will not be offering discounted rates for purchasing 5 or 10 trips while social distancing is required. Passengers who purchased these before the lockdown may use them up. We will still be offering discounted rates for passengers booking 2 or more return trips per week for an extended period. As we will not have any high passenger volume services to offset the cost of low volume services, minimum fares will apply for each return service. These will be $80 for direct return services from Ashburton to Christchurch, and $100 for return services via Methven. An additional $10 is added to this minimum for stopping at the airport. This effectively means that regular fares will not apply on return services with only one or in some cases two passengers booked.

Level 2 Health and Safety

All surfaces likely to be touched by passengers will be sanitised between passengers. This may result in an increased turn around time between trips. While it is not compulsory, passengers are encouraged to use personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves if they have them available. Passengers should wash or sanitise their hands before and after their journey. Passengers who have any cold or flu like symptoms must not travel. In order to minimise personal interaction our preferred method of payment at this time is bank transfer. The account number is 12-3494-0041729-00. We will still have on board EFTPOS available for passengers requiring a GST receipt, but do not accept credit cards. Cash payment will only be available to foreign nationals without a New Zealand bank account. Contract tracing requirements mean that all passengers must provide at least 2 of their residential address, email address or mobile phone number at the time of booking.

Road Snow Policy

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.

Proposed Services To And From Christchurch Boarding Schools

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.

Upcoming Services – Next 10 Days

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

Tuesday 22nd September – No current bookings.

Wednesday 23rd September – Departing Ashburton 7.30 am or earlier, 9 seats available. departing Christchurch 12.15 pm or later, 9 seats available.

Thursday 24th September – Departing Ashburton for Lincoln, then Christchurch 9.30 am or earlier, 9 seats available, departing Christchurch 11.30 am or later, 10 seats available

Friday 25th September – Departing Ashburton 7.00 am or earlier, 9 seats available. departing Christchurch 8.45 am, 9 seats available. Departing Ashburton 1.00 pm for Methven the Christchurch, 9 seats available. departing Christchurch 3.30 pm or later, 9 seats available.

Saturday 26th September – No current bookings. Minimum 2 passengers or equivalent fare required to operate weekend services.

Sunday 27th September – No current bookings. Minimum 2 passengers or equivalent fare required to operate weekend services. Afternoon service to Christchurch can pick up in Ashburton, Hinds, Geraldine, Mayfield, Methven, Rakaia.

Monday 28th September – No current bookings.

Tuesday 29th September – No current bookings.

Wednesday 30th September – Departing Ashburton 10.30 am or earlier, 9 seats available Departing Christchurch Airport 2.00 pm or later, 8 seats available.

Thursday 1st October – No current bookings.

Future Bookings Beyond 10 Days

Tuesday 5th October – Departing Ashburton approximately 10.00 am, 9 seats available. Departing Christchurch approximately 11.45 am, 10 seats available. These times are flexible.

 

 

 

Methven & Rural Services

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

Student & Regular User Rates

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.

What Is the Actual Cost of the Commute?

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.