UC Commuter Challenge
The inaugural University of Canterbury Commuter Challenge, held 19th August 2003, tested how fast it takes people to commute to UC by different transport modes. Commuters raced against each other to see who reached University the fastest (including finding a legitimate park). All starting locations were set for people to arrive at approx. 9 am to the Central Library steps.
Triumph of pedal power
Cyclists won the fastest times from four out of five starting locations around the city. The only exception was from Avonhead Mall, which was won by a motorcyclist.
The cyclists generally said they enjoyed cycling because it was fast, cheap, easy, environmentally friendly, and helped keep them fit (“I like the freedom of riding a bike” – Philip, Psych. student), but cyclists commonly complained about pollution and traffic congestion from cars.
Bus users enjoyed just being able to sit back and not concentrate on the driving or traffic ("I can just tune out, no worries" – Rachel, B.SpLT student); down sides were time and reliability. Several thought buses should be given priority on the roads vs. cars to help speed up the trip times.
Carpooling was more social than driving alone and carpoolers liked getting preferential parking on campus by registering with the UC Rideshare scheme. Meanwhile, car drivers generally liked being warm and being able to listen to the radio while driving, but some disliked the cost, traffic congestion, creating pollution, and/or found it stressful wondering if they would find a park.
UC Commuter Challenge results
From Avonhead Mall
|Fastest time||Kirk Pritchard (BSc student) by motorbike, 6 minutes|
|From Barrington Mall |
|Fastest time||Matt Cain (student) by bicycle, 15 minutes|
From Dux de Lux
|Fastest time||Steve Fortune (Engineering student) by bicycle, 10 minutes|
|From Nancy's Corner/Riccarton Roundabout|
|Fastest time||Philip Daniel (M.Sc student) by bicycle, 6 minutes|
|From Northlands Mall|
|Fastest time||Josh Hudson (B.Sc student) by bicycle, 11 minutes|