Survey: 620m walk to stop

A recent survey shows people in Christchurch are willing to walk up to 620 metres to a bus stop

People in Christchurch, New Zealand, are prepared to walk on average 620 metres to a bus stop, a recent University of Canterbury survey has found.

Bus users surveyed were asked how long they actually walk and how much time they would spend walking to catch a bus.

On average those surveyed were happy to walk for up to eight minutes to a bus stop.

A total of 129 people were surveyed, with 77 male participants and 52 female participants taking part.

Fifty-four participants had vehicles available for their trip and 75 participants had no vehicles.

Pedestrian accessibility to public transport is essential to the attractiveness of public transport services, especially the bus service.

The survey of passengers at bus stops was conducted by final year civil engineering students Hamoud Al-Jammali and Gregory Ng supervised by Professor Alan Nicholson.

Ng says they asked participants to identify any obstacles that they encountered on their selected path to the bus stop.

The most common obstacle faced was the challenge of getting over busy roads without pedestrian crossings.

"Other obstacles included too many roads to cross, dangerous footpaths due to construction works, dark streets causing bus users to feel unsafe and too much traffic," says Ng.

"We asked participants if they had considered taking alternative paths to the bus stop and why they were not using these paths."

Al-Jammali says while most participants choose the shortest path, some said they preferred to walk longer in order to exercise. Many said a crowd of people made them feel safer.

"Based on the number of responses from the bus users, it is important to ensure that adequate crossing facilities are available on busy roads, sufficient lighting is provided especially during dark winter mornings, and construction works on roads and footpaths do not compromise the safety of pedestrians."

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