Christchurch buses

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCity Comparison Alert! To be fair the buses are not as good as Wellington's, no, that's not fair at all! They're the same standard (in fact are exactly the same model and that throw's me a bit as I come out of the normal "bus sleep" and expect to see us entering Miramar), the drivers can be just as helpful/friendly or surly and they take about the same amount of time home-door-to-work-door.

But somehow it's not "as good".

I think it's the view. It's just never gonna be as cool as around the bays, over the hills and through the tunnels. It's through suburbs. And, to my Wellingtonian mind, leaves me with a "it's not as good" feeling. Strange eh.

What I do think is streets ahead here in Christchurch is the Metro Card. These wee electronic fella (that you go to the Bus Exchange in the city centre to get) is bloody awesome.

First there is the low-low fare which is $1.50 anywhere zone 1 ( use it a second time during the day and it's free travel for the rest of the day), compare that to $3.50 one-way in Wellington ($2.60 if you got a 10-trip piece of cardboard).

Secondly it's electronic. Yep, it's rechargeable. You pay $10 when you get it and then off one goes swiping as you board the bus. Well, you place the card on the reader and it goes ping, tells you how much is left and you sit down. Too damn easy.

When it runs out you "re-fill" them on the bus - give the driver your money, he pushes a button, pick-up, put back done and go and sit down.

So easy, no hassle, no cash to carry. Also, as it's recorded against your name if you loose it you can tell the bus company there'll block the card.

Unlike Wellington there seem to be a few bus companies running here - Red Bus Ltd seems to be the Stagecoach equivalent (ie, council backed/funded/subsidised ... or something) but there are others. They also take the Metro Card.

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