The announcement about which company (or companies) will be operating services on Bristol’s new MetroBus network has been delayed once again, this time until after the general election on 8th June, the Journal can reveal.
Last summer, a West of England Partnership spokesperson said that negotiations with potential operators were expected to conclude by mid-September (2016), but it was later revealed that talks had been delayed because of the need to consider scenarios where services on a route are run by more than one operator.
Then, earlier this year, it was stated that a formal announcement would not be made until after the Metro Mayor election on 4th May, for fear it might become a political issue – and the same reasoning is behind the latest delay, this time because of the general election.
A spokesperson stressed that any operator can choose to operate services on a MetroBus route, provided they sign up to a defined set of quality standards relating to vehicles, minimum frequencies, maximum fares etc. known as the Quality Partnership Scheme. There is no ‘operator selection’ decision to be made by the officers or members of any local council or authority.
Once the MetroBus roadworks in Bradley Stoke are completed in June, the next sign of activity is likely to be the installation of so-called iPoints at the new MetroBus stops, currently scheduled for August.
An iPoint is an information tower that is approximately 3.2 metres high and 56cm wide. These will incorporate one or two real-time information (RTI) screens, a touch screen to allow customers to buy tickets, a chip and PIN reader for payments and a smartcard reader for topping-up existing smart cards. The ticket purchasing function will supply both single tickets and smartcards.
• For more information on MetroBus, visit travelwest.info/metrobus/all-you-need-to-know
|May 2017||Work complete at Aztec West|
|June 2017||Announcement of MetroBus operators|
|June 2017||Work complete on Bradley Stoke Way|
|August 2017||Unveiling of brand, logos, buses, iPoints etc.|
|August 2017||iPoint installation begins|
|September 2017||Stoke Gifford Transport Link opens|
|October 2017||Stoke Lane work completes|
|Autumn 2017||MetroBus services start|
Image: Indicative artist’s impression of a MetroBus stop, complete with iPoint.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 33). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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