RED ZONE: Red Bus will be able to provide a new inner-city tour service.
Red Bus will get the chance to run money-making red-zone tours in Christchurch.
In March, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) sought interested parties for the new inner-city tour service, listed as a "potential business opportunity" for private operators.
A Cera spokeswoman said three operators had registered an interest and all were of high calibre.
One of those, Red Bus, has been identified as most able to provide the necessary health and safety logistics to run an operation potentially involving large numbers of people.
It was now up to Red Bus to decide if it wanted to proceed with a business plan and develop a commercial fare scheme.
Cera would not be involved in that decision or any subsequent commercial process, the spokeswoman said.
Cera's bus tours through the central red zone late last year were popular, with more than 28,000 people taking the weekend and evening trips over a six-week period.
That venture was taxpayer-funded and passengers were asked for gold-coin contributions to cover the $220,000 operational costs. Those contributions offset $60,000 of the taxpayers' input.