All Systems GO for Metrobus
Some 70 business people, politicians and cultural and education leaders climbed aboard the maiden journey of the new Metrobus service, the m3, in May. Operated by First West of England, it is the first route of the £230m rapid transit system to go live and marks the beginning of one of the largest projects of its kind in the city region.
The m3 will provide a rapid public transport service from Emersons Green in South Gloucestershire to the city centre. The m3 will be followed by the m2 route this Autumn which will link the city centre, including Temple Meads station, with Long Ashton Park & Ride. In early 2019, the m1 line will open – this is the largest route, connecting the South of the city in Hengrove with Cribbs Causeway South Gloucestershire.
m3, as with all Metrobus routes, will operate on a simple zonal fare structure with single journey tickets in a single zone priced at £1.50, making it one of the cheapest single journey fares in the country. An all-zone single journey is priced at £2.50. A day ticket is priced at just £4.
Tickets can be purchased using First West of England’s popular mobile m-ticket app, via smartcards available online, which can be topped up at Payzone shops or at new iPoint ticket machines that will be installed at every stop along the route. Existing First paper tickets bought via paypoint shops are also accepted on Metrobus, as are concessionary passes. It means Metrobus will be the only place outside London to operate a buy-before-you-board service.
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. To make travel even more easy and seamless, bus users will also be able to use the Avonfare all-operator ticket on Metrobus and all local bus services.
Officially unveiling the m3 at Bristol & Bath Science Park, James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England, said: “This is a landmark for local public transport and, in particular, for the bus in the city region. Metrobus combines low emissions, new customer-facing technologies and infrastructure on a massive scale. It will revolutionise public transport with faster journeys and a much higher standard in passenger experience. It will be a catalyst to do more with Metrobus and provides the foundation on which we can build a public transport system fit for the future in the city region which is the powerhouse of the regional economy.”
Added Freeman: “We are pushing the boundaries of bus travel to fulfil our ambition of being the smartest way to go about the region in every sense – from providing convenience and affordability to enhancing accessibility and air quality.”
- Key facts about Metrobus:
- 50km network
- 92 new bus stops
- 282 new cycle stands
- Over 10km of new cycle routes
- 3.5km busway segregated from general traffic
- Over 6km of new road space
- New Baldwin Street link across River Frome
- 3 railway bridges
- 8 road bridges
- 1 refurbishment of a grade 2 listed bridge
- Major public realm improvements in city centre