Friday, 13 January 2017

January 2017 bus purchases for First Bus and London Bus tender awards

More investments made by First bus, to increase the usage for their services.

First up - the new bus purchases for their West of England services.

First West of England invests £750k in brand new 'Severn Express' buses

Bus passengers travelling on the Severn Express service between Newport, Chepstow and Bristol city centre will now be travelling in the very latest environmentally friendly buses after operator First West of England unveiled three new ‘low-carbon’ vehicles, each costing approximately £250,000.

The buses are fitted with the latest Euro VI engines, which produce 95% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions compared to buses with Euro V engines, and as a result will help improve air quality along the 18-mile Severn Express route. The buses also have start-stop technology, which cuts out the engine when a bus is stationary.

First West of England Managing Director James Freeman said: “These new buses will make a significant contribution towards our environmental performance.  Following an ambitious £25 million investment programme which started 2 years ago, almost a quarter of our West of England fleet now consists of significantly cleaner buses, and the numbers are increasing steadily.”

The buses have free Wi-Fi, so passengers can use their mobile smartphones on the 18-mile journey. In the coming months, the buses will also be fitted with USB charging points at every seat, so passengers can keep their devices charged during the journey.  Freeman said: “We decided to install USB charging points on the Severn Express because the distance covered is more than most of our other services and as a result the journey takes longer.  We hope our passengers appreciate this added convenience once the charging points are installed”.

Monmouth MP David Davies said: “Many of my constituents work in Bristol, so a fast bus service with state-of-the-art technology is important to provide an alternative to train and car travel, especially with the increasing levels of congestion on the major roads across South Wales”.

The three buses will have an extra feature: Each of the three buses has a different type of seat made of different materials, which provide slightly different experiences. The bus company is trialling the new seats and will issue feedback questionnaires on set dates to find out what passengers think of each type.

Chepstow Mayor Cllr Paul Pavia said: “Chepstow is the Welsh town nearest to Bristol, with excellent schools, facilities, and - as the Severn Express service shows – excellent, affordable connections into Bristol and the West of England”.

He said: “Driving into Bristol for work can be quite expensive. Once you add cost of a day’s parking, fuel consumption and tolls, it could be as much as £22. By train it’s more than £10. On the Severn Express, you’re looking at £5.40 for two single journeys, so 75 per cent cheaper than driving by car and around 50 per cent cheaper than a return train ticket”. 

Mile for mile, the 18-mile Severn Express journey has one of the cheapest fares across First Bristol’s extensive bus network. A single journey can be as cheap as £2.70 if bought as mTickets on the company’s smartphone app (minimum purchase required). All-day tickets for unlimited use anywhere in First’s West of England network are available for £7.50 or £7 if bought via the First Bus mTicket smartphone app.

According to Coach and Bus week, First West of England has purchased three new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC’s with the new Euro 6 engines.

Here’s the leaflet for the Severn Express services.

Secondly, First Bus will be increasing their services for the Leigh-Salford-Manchester Bus Rapid Transit scheme.

New Vantage cross-city bus service to launch this month in Manchester

First Manchester is continuing to increase the offering of its premium Vantage bus service by adding a new route from 29th January.

The new V3 Vantage service will launch on 29th January, and will run hourly every day, to and from Manchester Royal Infirmary. The popular V1 and V2 Vantage services will continue to operate, but there will be minor changes to the timetable to allow the services more time to complete their journeys during peak times.

Numbered V3, services will run from Leigh along the four and a half mile traffic-free guided busway. Bus lanes on the East Lancs Road then mean a fast and comfortable route into the city, with stops including the East Lancs Road Park & Ride, University of Salford and Salford Crescent Railway Station. The V1 and V2 routes will continue to serve Piccadilly Gardens and Stevenson Square, whilst the V3 will travel straight down Princess Street, Portland Street and Oxford Street before reaching Oxford Road, with services running as far as the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Ian Humphreys, Head of Commercial at First Manchester, said: “The V3 service will be run with the same premium Vantage vehicles, which means you can travel in style with e-leather seating, free Wi-Fi, “next stop” audio and visual announcements, luxury seats, tables upstairs and USB charging points.

“The new route will be introduced on 29th January, and we’d therefore advise customers to check the First Manchester website for full timetable information, or to contact our customer services team with any questions.”

The V1, V2 and V3 services will operate as follows:

V1: Leigh – Tyldesley – Ellenbrook – East Lancs Road Park & Ride – Manchester
V2: Atherton – Tyldesley – Ellenbrook – East Lancs Road Park & Ride – Manchester
V3: Leigh – Tyldesley – Ellenbrook – East Lancs Road Park & Ride – Manchester – Manchester Royal Infirmary

For further information on the Vantage service please visit . 

Thirdly, the recent London Bus tender awards.

Notification of Tender Results:

LBSL intends to enter into new contracts for the following routes with the operators listed below:

131 from London United to London General, pvr 21 with 2010 Euro V diesel double decks
411 Retained by Quality Line pvr 6 with new Euro VI diesel single decks
465 Retained by Quality Line pvr to come, and single deck types to come
605 from London Sovereign to Sullivan Buses, pvr 2 with 2009 Euro V diesel double decks
628/688 retained by Sullivan Buses pvr 6 with 2009 Euro V diesel double decks
632 retained by Metroline pvr 3 with 2009 Euro IV diesel double decks
653/683 retained by Sullivan Buses pvr 5 with 2009 Euro V diesel double deck

Start dates:

1st July 2017: Route 465.
2nd September 2017: Routes 605, 628/688 & 653/683.
30th September 2017: Routes 131 & 411.
14th October 2017: Route 632.

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