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Source: Environment Canterbury Regional Council

Canterbury is currently at Alert Level 2. Here’s what you need to know when using public transport.

Do you need to take the bus during Alert Level 2?

Environment Canterbury is reminding people that while Canterbury is at Alert Level 2, capacity is very constrained on the urban public transport network, and at times there isn’t enough space for everyone.

“Where people have a choice, we ask that you please avoid travelling at our peak times of 7am-9am and 2.30pm-5.30pm, weekdays,” said Environment Canterbury senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon.

“The physical distancing restrictions in place to keep everyone safe on buses create real challenges in providing the level of service needed for everyone that uses public transport.

“We are asking people to consider alternative ways to get around or to consider if they can travel at a different time. Could you bike or carpool, or start work earlier or later to avoid the peak? Ultimately, only travel on the bus network if you really need to, especially during peak times.”

School services

The Metro school bus network continues to operate at full capacity throughout Alert Level 2, due to schools’ ability to contact trace.

“However, as a lot of school children also use the urban buses, it’s important that they, and their parents, are aware of the capacity constraints we face under Alert Level 2,” said Gibbon.

Physical distancing

When onboard, sit in window seats only where possible, unless sitting next to someone you know. 

If possible, passengers should wear face coverings while using our services, in line with Government advice.

The Bus Interchange remains open, and front door boarding remains in place, however passengers should alight via the rear doors only, unless they need to use the ramp.

Contact tracing

The importance of contact tracing is high in Alert Level 2, and passengers need to provide contact tracing information whenever they use public transport. 

  • If you pay with a registered Metrocard with up-to-date contact details, that’s your contact tracing done.
  • If not, please scan the NZ COVID Tracer QR code on the bus, using the Government app. Posters with the QR codes are being installed on our buses over the coming days. 
  • If you can’t use the QR code, you can call 03 366 8855 to have your trip registered. 

“Here in New Zealand, we are a team of five million. Let’s work together – recording your travel is critical in supporting New Zealand’s mission to eliminate COVID-19,” Gibbon said.


Fares are required at Alert Level 2. “We strongly encourage the use of contactless payment options – paying on board with a Metrocard and using online top-ups,” said Gibbon.

Metrocards cost $5 and can be ordered online. Account-to-account top ups are also available.

MyWay by Metro

In Timaru, MyWay by Metro on-demand public transport will operate at full capacity under Alert Level 2.

Ministry of Health physical distancing restrictions do not apply to MyWay vehicles due to the additional measures in place to support journey tracking, so the vehicles are operating at full capacity, with enhanced cleaning in place and hand sanitiser available.

However, the physical distancing restrictions in place on the Timaru Link are likely to increase demand on MyWay. Please avoid travelling at peak times if possible.

More information

Metro’s website will be kept updated with the latest information including any service cancellations if necessary.