For thousands of fans, last month’s ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix began not with the thrilling action and daring manouvres on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour - but with a seamless journey to and from the event village, delivered in partnership with Go Bus.
New Zealand’s largest operator of passenger service vehicles, Go Bus transported more than 6,000 spectators per day between Christchurch city centre and the port town of Lyttelton, a 25-minute journey by car. Karl Budge, Head of the New Zealand Event said the service was integral to the success of the sold-out event.
“With access to Lyttelton restricted throughout the race weekend, we needed a fast and reliable solution to get our guests to and from the venue each day safely and sustainably,” Budge said.
“After a competitive bid process, it was clear that Go Bus was the right partner to help deliver on this vision, with the capacity, fleet and experience needed for an international event of scale. Go Bus provided exemplary service that exceeded expectations, turning what could have been a tricky journey into an enjoyable and lasting first impression on our fans.”
Free for ticket holders and hospitality guests, official event shuttles departed from Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre from 11.30AM on both race days (18-19 Mar 2023), transporting customers to the purpose-built race village at Te Nukutai o Tapoa, Naval Point. Return shuttles began immediately after the conclusion of racing. Sixty shuttle buses moved thousands of spectators at lightning speed, with vehicles arriving every 2.5 minutes to ensure not a minute was wasted getting to and from the action.
Guests were greeted by Go Bus supervisors who, alongside SailGP staff and volunteers, assisted with loading and unloading for guests of all ages and abilities. Vehicles and staff were sourced primarily from Go Bus’ Canterbury operations.
Russell Turnbull, Go Bus Director of Business Development said he and his team were “extremely pleased” with the final execution of the transport service - an undertaking they worked on for 12 months, alongside SailGP. Go Bus shuttles were used not only by SailGP spectators, but staff, volunteers, security and other personnel in the lead up to race weekend.
“The feedback we’ve had from all of our stakeholders and the broader public has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Turnbull. “It was great to team up with SailGP for its first-ever New Zealand event, and we look forward to working together on future events in New Zealand too."