Canterbury Regional Council says the number of missed bus trips across the region is trending downwards, but thousands of buses were still not showing up each month.
The council said last October and November its Metro bus service missed 8.2 percent of scheduled trips. This included all urban and school routes for Greater Christchurch, as Timaru had not had a driver shortage, it said.
Last month that number dropped to 5.4 percent, or 2737 trips. On average, it worked out to about 88 missed trips per day in March.
An RNZ investigation has found hundreds of bus services were also being cancelled every day in Auckland and Wellington.
A council spokesperson said its operators had been recruiting heavily for bus drivers.
Despite the missed trips, passenger numbers were increasing – last month reaching 95 percent of pre-Covid-19 numbers, the spokesperson said.