Hero photograph
Sean Tonner and Noah Bean

Submission to the City Council about Central City Transport Systems

Suzanne Waters —

Do you remember the free yellow electric shuttle bus that used to operate in Christchurch before the earthquakes? Sean Tonner (10SV) and Noah Bean (10MAH) certainly do and both feel very strongly that the free electric shuttle service should be reinstated, so at the end of October last year they presented their ideas and reasons to the Canterbury Public Transport Hearings Panel at Environment Canterbury.

Sean and Noah introduced themselves to the Hearings Panel, made up of Councillors from local regional councils, as students of Hagley College. They spoke succinctly and clearly about why the bus should be re-instated from their point of view as teenagers who study and live in the central city. They spoke about how they like to hang out with their friends in town and a bus would make it more "fluid" and easier to get around. Noah and Sean spoke about the importance of providing public transport. When asked about having to pay for the service they both thought it would be a barrier to using the bus as they are teenagers and don't carry change.

The free yellow electric bus service operated in the central city for 14 years but stopped after the 2011 earthquakes. It covered a 4.2 km loop within the four avenues, buses came every 10 minutes and there were 21 stops, using 3 electric yellow buses. It was well used and the buses carried around 11 million passengers.

Making a difference to our city is something both boys feel strongly about. Sean was part of a group who made a submission to the City Council about a local park. To prepare for their presentation to the Transport Hearings Panel, Sean and Noah wrote down what they believe needs to happen to make the inner city a better place to live – and for them that means easy access. They say it was great in the past with the free electric shuttle buses – they helped locals and tourists get around the inner city with ease and with the added bonus of being non-polluting.

Sean and Noah said that they were a bit nervous before presenting their ideas. “It was a bit intimidating, but it felt good that we were able to help out to get the buses back.” Asked if they would do more of this in the future, both agreed: “Definitely, we’d do it again, it’s great to have an impact on the future of Christchurch.”