Service brings buses back to Kaiko¯ura
When Intercity cut back their bus service to Kaiko¯ura a few months back, tourism agencies in the quake-shaken town got busy to find a replacement.
Road repairs following the November earthquake meant State Highway 1 was only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
‘‘Intercity buses pulled the plug on a seven-day service when it was decided the highway would be open only those days,’’ Kaiko¯ura’s i-Site supervisor Marie¨t van Vierzen said.
‘‘That meant on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there was no public transport in and out of the town,’’ she said.
Van Vierzen said they had asked several different transport providers to help, and Christchurch’s Red Travel stepped up with its Red Bus service. They use the inland road on those days which takes about 20 minutes longer.
‘‘They are offering a different service. They leave later from Christchurch and depart later from Kaiko¯ura which allows visitors to do an activity in the afternoon like Dolphin Encounters or Kaiko¯ura Kayak.
‘‘With Intercity on the days they are here, people don’t have time for an afternoon activity,’’ van Vierzen said.
Red Bus chief executive Paul McNoe saw the gap and took it with the new Kaiko¯ura Express service.
‘‘We’ve been through earthquakes. We know how important reliable transport is and we want to help however we can,’’ McNoe said.
‘‘This is also a natural fit to our business model as we look to accommodate more independent travellers,’’ he said.
‘‘The Kaiko¯ura Express complements our Akaroa Shuttle service. We’re passionate about the region, the locals and encouraging visitors back to Kaiko¯ura.’’
An optional scenic photo stop with seals, quick points of interest on route and the ability to be collected from accommodation zones along with the airport will also be part of the .
Destination Kaiko¯ura’s Julie Howden said the town was grateful to Red Travel for the service.
‘‘This will fill a huge gap in our public transport connection with Christchurch,’’ Howden said.
The service will depart daily from Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch at 8.30am and Kaikoura i-Site at 4.30pm with drop-off and pick-ups at Encounter Kaiko¯ura.
The first Kaiko¯ura Express service will arrive at Kaiko¯ura i-Site at 11am on October 2 and will be greeted by local dignitaries and businesses.
The Kaiko¯ura Express and Red Bus driver Peter Watts. Red Travel at Christchurch has come to the public transport rescue for the quake-shaken town.