Hurunui has a rural transport problem. As a large rural district with a relatively low population there has always been minimal public transport options with rail and bus services travelling from Christchurch to Picton on SH 1 to connect tourists and travellers with the interislander ferry. There are also bus services from Christchurch to Hanmer and the West Coast on SH 7.
It is difficult to provide transport links to rural communities with a low population although people in rural areas usually have a greater need for transport than urban dwellers. High levels of car ownership can diminish the problem, but certain rural groups (the young, old or poor) always require public transport.
Transport plays a key role in responding to the problem of rural social exclusion. The often large distances between services and population centres in rural areas means it is difficult for people without access to private transport. In particular, in rural areas around the world, an increasing number of ageing car drivers are having to make the transition to non-driver. Alternative transport will play a key role in keeping these people engaged in mainstream society and able to access services.
A 2018 survey on Transport options in Hurunui showed overwhelming support for public transport of some kind to connect the district with Rangiora and Christchurch. Summary of transport options in Hurunui survey results and existing public transport options
Links to existing public transport options:
Ecan support community car schemes in some Hurunui communities. There is a community car in Cheviot, Amberley, Amuri, Waikari and Hanmer Springs. The community car scheme relies on volunteer drivers with a focus on delivering people to health appointments. Bookings for community cars are through the Hurunui medical centres.
Transport to medical appointments in Christchurch and Rangiora is supplied by St John’s Shuttle: f8881872-north-canterbury-health-shuttle
There are a few private transport initiatives listed in the Hurunui Social Services Map.