The M1 MetroBus service, the third and longest Bristol MetroBus route, connecting south Bristol, Bedminster, the city centre, UWE, Bradley Stoke and Cribbs Causeway, will launch on Sunday 6th January.
Bristol Community Transport, who will be operating the M1 service under contract to First West of England, has invested in a fleet of new buses running on biogas generated from food waste, farm waste and sewage – creating up to 60 new driver and support positions at their Bedminster depot. This represents the first major investment in biogas buses in the area and puts the West of England at the forefront of low emission bus operations powered by alternative sources.
The launch of M1 follows the successful introduction of routes M3 and M2 that were launched in May and September 2018, connecting Emersons Green and Lyde Green Park & Ride to the city centre and Long Ashton Park & Ride to the city centre respectively. Together, these routes have already carried over 600,000 customers.
Travel will be free all day on Sunday 6th January when the new fleet is unveiled. Subsequently, tickets will be available via the special iPoint machines that have already started appearing along the M1 route. As well as providing real-time ‘next bus’ information, they form an integral part of MetroBus’ ‘buy before you board’ strategy, enabling customers to buy tickets using contactless or chip & pin bank cards. Customers can also buy tickets using First’s mTicket smartphone app, and registered Travelwest smartcard users can buy tickets from the Travelwest website and load them onto their smartcard at an iPoint before using it on the bus. First’s standard range of tickets for their Bristol and West of England fare zones are also valid on all MetroBus services, as are concessionary passes.
MetroBus fares are simple and all tickets are ‘buy before you board’, for faster journeys. Single trips are £2.00 (£2.07 for an individual ticket via the First mTicket app) and a day ticket allowing unlimited travel is £4.
Each MetroBus stop along the M1 route will [eventually] have an iPoint, By Sunday 6th January, the majority of MetroBus stops will have an iPoint installed, and by the end of the month, all MetroBus stops will have an iPoint installed and working. If for whatever reason an iPoint is not present or operational, drivers will temporarily accept contactless payment on the bus at this stop until the iPoint is operational.
James Freeman, managing director of First Bus West of England said:
“M3 and M2 have proved very popular and feedback is that they are getting people to where they need to be faster and more smoothly. Congestion in the city is reaching crisis levels and anything we can do to be able to cut through that congestion is good for our customers and our drivers. We believe this third and final route of the first phase of MetroBus will be equally successful and contribute to a longer-term transport strategy that will alleviate the pressure facing our roads.”
More information and related links:
Photo: M1 MetroBus vehicles at the Bristol Community Transport depot in Bedminster.
New service M1 MetroBus will link Cribbs Causeway with Hengrove Park via Aztec West, Bradley Stoke, city centre, Bedminster and Inns Court.
The frequency of buses will be every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday from 0600 until 2400 and every 20 minutes Sundays and public holidays. Tickets will need to be purchased off-bus using mTickets, smartcard or iPoints at bus stops.
Service 73 will have its frequency reduced due to the introduction of the M1 service. It will now operate a 20-minute frequency Monday to Saturday and every 30 minutes Sunday and public holidays. No change to route.
Service X73 will be replaced by new service T3, which will provide two morning peak journeys from Aztec West to the city centre departing at 0640 and 0805 and two afternoon peak journeys from the city centre to Aztec West departing at 1550 and 1725. The T3 will follow the same route as the X73 but will start and terminate at Colston Street.
This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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