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No time frame to have Christchurch bus exchange back up and running

Christchurch’s intercity bus exchange is closed for a second day, and Environment Canterbury says it has “no time frame” for when it will be back up and running.

On Monday morning passengers were advised to get up earlier to catch their bus in time for the start of the working week.

Buses were using the Manchester St Super Stop as a temporary interchange location after technical difficulties caused the bus exchange in town to close.

On his way home from his night shift, Cole Humm sat on a wooden post on Manchester St so he wouldn’t fall asleep waiting for his bus.

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After being dropped off at an unusual spot the day before, Humm was 20 minutes late for work.

“If that’s the case tomorrow then I’ll have to get an earlier bus”, he said.

Bus rider Kayleigh Watford hoped the bus exchange would be fixed soon as she caught a bus from the city center to get to work in Riccarton.

Cole Humm sits on wooden posts while waiting for his bus, so he doesn't fall asleep waiting for the bus after his night shift.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

Cole Humm sits on wooden posts while waiting for his bus, so he doesn’t fall asleep waiting for the bus after his night shift.

“I was coming home from work yesterday, and we drove past it (the interchange) and I thought ‘oh that’s weird’, then it pulled in to the Lichfield St stop.”

With different routes having to be taken and times not being displayed, Watford said the Manchester St Super Stop was like waiting for a connecting flight at the airport.

“If you miss your first one it means your second one is messed up,” she said.

With the bus exchange closed due to IT issues, passengers are being collected and dropped off at Manchester St Super Stop, delaying times and traffic.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

With the bus exchange closed due to IT issues, passengers are being collected and dropped off at Manchester St Super Stop, delaying times and traffic.

Getting on and off at unusual spots is disrupting some people’s daily routines.

An intellectually disabled woman got off the bus on Manchester St and said she was lost due and didn’t know where to go after not getting off at her normal stop.

Meanwhile, regular commuter Mina Morgan was confused and frustrated by the Manchester St Super Stop.

“Everybody is rushing, everybody is running, everybody is trying to get to work and on time without getting late.”

Morgan said he wanted more structure and organization if the closure of the interchange was going to continue.

On its Facebook page, Metro Canterbury said the building had been “impacted by a technology outage”.

Environment Canterbury public transport general manager Stewart Gibbon said some scheduled maintenance by their supplier had caused an unexpected outage which affected the interchange.

“The technology system that manages bay allocation and bay door operations at the interchange is not functioning, meaning we are currently unable to operate the interchange effectively and safely,” he said.

Posters have been put up at the Christchurch bus exchange for the public to be aware of alternative stops.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

Posters have been put up at the Christchurch bus exchange for the public to be aware of alternative stops.

“Our normal contingency for interchange unavailability has been put in place, meaning the Manchester St super stops are the designated central city bus stop until this issue is resolved. Route 17 customers should use the route’s stops on Hereford Street.”

When asked by Stuff when the bus exchange would reopen, regional council Environment Canterbury refused to be interviewed and instead said the Metro Canterbury Facebook page would be updated as news came to hand.

It said there was no time frame for the bus exchange to be operating again as normal.

City councilor for Central Ward Jake McLellan said the closure was “frustrating and disappointing”.

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