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Bus 18 improving bus journeys

20 November 2017

Getting on the busAt their meeting on Friday (17 November), West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee members welcomed work to improve journeys for West Yorkshire bus users made through the Bus 18 initiative.

They also supported the idea of launching a discounted Bus 18 “go anywhere” day ticket for young people, and proposals to acquire more low-emission buses by making the most of any central government funding.

Launched in March 2017, Bus 18 is a joint initiative to improve customer satisfaction and passenger experiences for West Yorkshire bus users. Bus 18 brings together the county’s major bus companies, Arriva, First and Transdev, the Association of Bus Operators in West Yorkshire (ABOWY) and the Combined Authority.

Tangible

Tangible benefits are already being delivered by Bus 18. As a result of discussions with passengers, new and improved information displays are being rolled out to West Yorkshire’s 14,000 bus shelters and stops from this month. The new design includes a clearer presentation of bus times a map showing stops along the route and journey times, and operator branding that will make it easier for customers to identify the service for which they are waiting.

In July, the Combined Authority approved £1m of funding for West Yorkshire’s five districts to work on schemes that will alleviate congestion at 28 Bus Hotspots identified through Bus 18. This work, which is forecast to be complete across the county by March 2019, will see the modification of junctions to improve reliability and punctuality of buses journeys on key routes.

Smart

A new, smart MCard Daysaver ticket is now available and the MCard app has been launched for Android phone users, Ecostar ratings are being displayed on buses to show their environmental performance and bus operators are rolling out plans to buy and run cleaner vehicles. Bus operators have introduced a “no quibble” approach to compensating passengers when things go wrong.

Another key Bus 18 objective was to engage with more young people to see what they want from bus services, which is where proposals for a discounted Bus 18 “go anywhere” day ticket emerged.

Encouraging

Cllr Keith WakefieldCllr Keith Wakefield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair said: “Good transport underpins economic growth, investment and job creation and with over 3.5 million bus journeys made in West Yorkshire each week, or 180 million per year, West Yorkshires buses are a vital part of our network.

“Bus passengers have told us about the improvements they want to see, I am pleased to be working with bus operators through Bus 18 to make these improvements.

“Encouraging more young people to use buses is one of our key aims and the proposals for an affordable day ticket that they would be able to use to go anywhere across West Yorkshire is an essential initiative, which Transport Committee have endorsed today.

“Air quality in our towns and cities is a key issue for local Councils and the Combined Authority. Bus 18 is where the Authorities and commercial bus operators work together to encourage people out of their cars onto cleaner buses. We will harness bus operators’ investment in new buses together with current government funding to improve emissions from older buses to work towards a clean bus fleet.”

“Reliability is the most important thing for bus passengers. Through Bus 18 we will ensure there is greater transparency about service performance to help build public confidence in the bus.

Find out more about Bus 18 (new tab).

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