Christchurch needs an efficient, integrated transport system that offers a range of choices for everyone. A well connected and accessible city will offer an excellent quality of life and help us compete internationally with other cities.

Active travel modes and public or shared transport have many benefits for Christchurch, including: reduced congestion and energy dependence, less need for new roads and parking, enhanced health and wellbeing through increased physical activity and greater social interaction.

What this means for our district

  • We have a fully integrated and reliable transport system that is responsive to the needs of citizens and adapts to new technologies.
  • An increased proportion of journeys are made by active, public, or shared transport.
  • Residents have equitable access to public transport and cycleways across the city.
  • Improved transport safety.

How we are contributing

We are working hard with our partners at Environment Canterbury to make public transport a more attractive option. The continued roll-out of the Major Cycle Routes(external link) will help make cycling safer and provide a new travel option for people. The central city road network is being upgraded through the An Accessible City programme of work to ensure the city is fit for the future.

How you can help

Encourage friends, family and co-workers to give public transport a go. Take the kids for a ride and explore the new cycleways. Share a ride with friends and neighbours to events rather than each taking your own car.

How we are doing

Status What do we want to achieve? What has happened?

Snapshot

SnapshotOnly

Ease of travel by mode

Over half of respondents to the Life in Christchurch survey in 2017 found travel in the city easy or very easy. 

People walking or travelling by car were most likely to find it easy or very easy to travel in the city. Further information.

Negative result
NegativeResult

Mode share of active, public and shared travel

Trips by active travel, public transport and as a passenger in a motor vehicle have not recovered to pre-earthquake levels. Further information.
Negative result
NegativeResult

Travel to work by active, public transport or shared travel

The proportion of people travelling to work by these modes has declined by 30 per cent since 1991 to 16 per cent in 2013. Further information.

Mixed result
Indeterminate Result

Frequency of cycling

The frequency of cycling on public roads has remained constant since 2010. 25 per cent of respondents cycle on the road at least once a week. Further information.

Positive result
PositiveResult
Cycle friendly city Over 50 per cent of people think Christchurch is a cycle friendly city. This is comparable to pre-earthquake levels. Further information.
Negative result
NegativeResult

 

Bus patronage

13.5 million bus trips were made in the year to June 2017. This was just over three quarters of the number of pre-earthquake trips (17.2 million). Further information.

Negative result
NegativeResult

 

Rating of public transport Residents perceptions of the key components of public transport have declined from around 75 per cent in 2004, to between 54 and 73 per cent. Access and safety are the best performing elements. Further information.
Mixed result
Indeterminate Result
Social cost of accidents

Since 2000, the social costs of accidents in 2016 prices has fluctuated around an average of $267 million.

In 2016, the total social cost of transport accidents in Christchurch City was $236 million. Further information.

Ease of travel by mode

Generally, three quarters of respondents to the Life in Christchurch survey found it easy or very easy to walk in the city, while just over 60 per cent of respondents found travelling by car in the city easy or very easy. 

In 2017, over half of respondents found it easy or very easy to travel by motorbike or scooter (57 per cent), bicycle (54 per cent) or public transport (53 per cent).

Travel by active modes, public transport and as a passenger

Trips by active modes have been impacted by the earthquakes, with walking and cycling declining after the earthquakes as individuals' travel routes have changed. Trips using public transport declined to 2.1 per cent of all trips in 2011/2012, before increasing to 3.6 per cent of trips in 2013/2014. 

Passengers trips in motor vehicles declined in the last period to 22 per cent of all trips, whereas in previous periods these trips had remained relatively constant at around 25 per cent of trips. 

Travel to work by active modes, public transport and passengers in a motor vehicle

Census data shows trends in active travel, public transport and passengers in a motor vehicle over a longer time period (since 1991). Travel to work is a good indicator of the pressures on the peak travel period.

The proportion of people travelling to work by all these desirable modes has declined from 22 per cent in 1991 to 16 per cent in 2013; a decline of 30 per cent.

Cycling increased slightly between 2006 and 2013 (10 per cent). However walking, public transport and passengers in motor vehicle trips all declined between 2006 and 2013, after they all had been increasing prior to 2006.

Frequency of cycling

Since the earthquakes, the proportion of respondents from the Council's Residents Survey who reported they never cycled has remained relatively stable, with just under half of respondents reporting they had never cycled in the past 12 months. This is an improvement from 2010, when 54 per cent of respondents stated they never cycled.

Around 25 per cent of respondents cycled on a public road at least once a week, and 13 per cent stated they get out on their bicycle around once a month.

Cycle-friendly city

Since 2016, the proportion of respondents from the Council's Residents Survey who agree that Christchurch is a cycle-friendly city has exceeded 50 per cent, up from a low of 26 per cent in 2014. This is the same as the 2010 pre-earthquake value.

In 2014, 51 per cent of people did not think Christchurch was a cycle-friendly city. This proportion has steadily decreased to 21 per cent in 2018.

Bus patronage

The number of public transport trips in Christchurch was increasing before the earthquakes, however the earthquakes had a significant impact on public transport patronage. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of trips decreased by 35 per cent, from 17.2 million trips to 11.2 million trips.

Between 2012 and 2014, the number of trips per year increased to 14.8 million, before declining to 13.5 million in the year to June 2017.

Trips per capita have followed the same trends as total trips, with a post-earthquake decline followed by an increase between 2012 and 2014, before declining annually to 2017. In 2017, there was an average of 36 trips per resident for the year.

Rating of public transport

Since 2004, residents' perceptions across all the key elements that could be considered to make a successful public transport system have declined overall, although some have remained stable since around 2010. 

In 2016, 73 per cent of respondents agreed public transport was easy to get to, and two thirds of respondents thought it was safe.

Although over half of respondents thought public transport was affordable, frequent and reliable, each of these elements had declined from around 75 per cent in 2004. In 2016, affordability and reliability were rated higher than in 2014. 

Social cost of accidents

The social cost of transport accidents include all the costs (including non-financial costs) incurred as a result of a crash or injury, irrespective of when the cost occurs and who pays. In 2016, the total social cost of transport accidents in Christchurch City was estimated at $236 million.

This contributed 5.8 per cent of the total national social cost of accidents of $4.1 billion.

Since 2000, the social costs of the city's transport accidents (in 2016 prices) has fluctuated, with 2016 being the second lowest year after 2004. The average annual cost during this period was $267 million.

Nationally, the social costs of accidents declined between 2007 and 2014, before increasing over the most recent two years, to a level 85 per cent of the 2007 value.