Posts Tagged ‘rapid transit’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

M1 MetroBus service to start on 6th January

Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2019 at 7:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing a line of M1 MetroBus vehicles at the BCT depot in Bedminster.

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.

More: All the local bus service changes from 6th January »

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MetroBus installs last pieces of jigsaw prior to 6th January launch

Posted on Sunday 9th December 2018 at 9:47 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the upper section of the MetroBus iPoint at the Willow Brook southbound stop.

The last remaining pieces of infrastructure for Bradley Stoke’s long-awaited M1 MetroBus service finally started to appear at stops along the route in mid-November, ahead of its planned launch on Sunday 6th January 2019.

As we went to press, three of the new iPoints (combined information display and ticket machines) had been installed – at the Patchway Brook and Willow Brook Centre southbound stops and the Great Meadow northbound stop, leaving five still to be fitted (or seven if you include the Aztec West stops on the A38). The missing shelter at the Great Meadow northbound stop was also in the process of being installed.

In late November, MetroBus invited applications from community groups, schools and organisations who wished to be featured on the rear inside panel of each of the 21 biogas vehicles serving the route. There was also a call out for local talent to perform on buses and at stops on the launch day, when travel on the M1 route will be free all day.

Bristol Community Transport, which will run the M1 service under contract to First, has invested in a fleet of new buses running on biogas generated from food waste, farm waste or sewage – creating up to 60 new driver and support positions at its Bedminster depot. A spokesperson commented that 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.

Photo of the MetroBus iPoint at the Patchway Brook southbound stop.

MetroBus is a ‘buy before you board’ service. Tickets may be purchased on the First mTicket smartphone app or using a Travelwest smartcard (now known as Travelcard). Paper tickets may be purchased from iPoints using a credit or debit card (but not cash). Existing First paper tickets bought at Paypoint shops are also accepted on MetroBus, as are concessionary passes.

MetroBus tickets can be used equally on the First West of England network in Bristol and, vice versa, tickets bought on First services (including mTickets) can be used on MetroBus routes.

Following the introduction of a flat fare across the whole of First’s Bristol zone, any single journey on any section of the M1 route will cost £2, when purchasing a ticket from an iPoint or using a Travelcard. Packs of five tickets at £2 each are available on the mTicket phone app. Single tickets on the mTicket phone app cost £2.07. A day ticket – valid on MetroBus and First local bus services is £4.

Travelcards may be ordered online at travelwest.info or collected from the First Bristol travel shop. If you purchase a multi-journey or multi-day ticket at an iPoint, it will be provided on a Travelcard which can then be registered on the website.

More information and related links:

More: CCTV at MetroBus stops »

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MetroBus announces ‘Search for a Star’ initiative to showcase new M1 service

Posted on Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 12:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Lower rear inside panel of a Bristol MetroBus vehicle.

MetroBus is calling for local community groups to literally go on the road with it as the face of the new M1 service when it launches in January.

The M1 is the third and longest MetroBus route, connecting south Bristol, the city centre, UWE, Bradley Stoke and Cribbs Causeway.

As previously reported by the Journal, the service will be operated by Bristol Community Transport under contract to First West of England.

To promote the local communities through which it will operate, MetroBus wants to feature community groups, schools and organisations on the rear inside panel of each of the 21 biogas vehicles serving the route. These can be anything from youth and sports groups to community and arts centres.

MetroBus is also seeking local talent that they can showcase when the service launches on Sunday 6th January. Throughout the day, the route will host local performers both on the bus and at route stops.

Jimmy Sommerville, operations manager at Bristol Community Transport, said:

“We really want to celebrate the communities that we serve by featuring some of their local heroes on our vehicles. Voluntary and community organisations often don’t get the recognition they deserve, this way we’ll be showcasing them to literally thousands of people every day as we follow the 17-mile route.”

“It could be anything from a school or college football team, a community choir, a WI group, luncheon club, scouting group or dance troop. If you and members from your local community get together, we want to celebrate what you do.”

“In addition, we want local performers to come forward to join us on launch day. If you are a singer, dancer, magician, balloon artist, face painter or even a performance poet we want to hear from you. Obviously we have space restrictions on the vehicle but bigger groups can perform at key bus stops at various points on the route to make it a really fun occasion for everyone.”

Travel on the M1 route will be free all day on Sunday 6th January.

More: Biogas fuel will be generated from food waste, farm waste or sewage »

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Reprieve for X73 route but 73 frequency to drop to ‘every 20 mins’

Posted on Saturday 17th November 2018 at 10:41 pm by SH (Editor)

A First West of England X73 bus at the Linden Drive stop in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Bus operator First Bristol has granted a partial reprieve to the X73 peak-hours-only bus service, which it had previously stated would be withdrawn once the M1 MetroBus service starts in January 2019. However, as widely anticipated, Bradley Stoke’s current main bus service, the 73, will see its frequency reduced due to an expected drop in demand from passengers travelling to the city centre.

The announcements follow an informal public consultation during September, launched at the request of First’s managing director James Freeman, who attended a meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council in August to talk through some of the possible scenarios for current local bus services in the MetroBus era.

Two journeys a day in each direction will be retained on the X73 service, which operates along the full length of Brook Way , in contrast to the MetroBus route along Bradley Stoke Way.

In a statement released to the Journal, Mr Freeman said:

“We were delighted by the number of people who made time to respond to our request for views about what we should do the with the 73 service as well as the X73 after MetroBus route M1 is introduced on 6th January 2019.”

“The overwhelming response was that people wanted us to keep things as they are, albeit with a general acceptance that services would need to run at a lower frequency than at present.”

“I am therefore pleased to announce today that we will continue to operate service 73, but every 20 minutes after 6th January, following the present route in every detail.”

“Journeys on weekday evenings and Sundays will run broadly as now.”

“In addition, we have found additional resources to continue the X73 service with two rather than three journeys per day – at 0640 and 0805 from Aztec West, returning from the city centre at 1550 and 1725 on Mondays to Fridays.”

The reduction in the daytime frequency of the 73 means that it will have halved from the ‘every 10 minutes’ rate that was offered back in 2013, after the old 74 service was merged with the 73.

More: M1 will run ‘every 10 mins’ between 6am and midnight Mon-Sat »

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Ocean Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.
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