Launch date set for Bristol’s new m1 metrobus service
The m1 metrobus service - the third and longest metrobus route, connecting south Bristol, Bedminster, the city centre, UWE, Bradley Stoke and Cribbs Causeway – will be tested on the route this week before the launch on 6 January.
Bristol Community Transport, who will be operating the m1 service under contract to First West of England, have invested in a fleet of new buses running on bio gas 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.
To reflect the importance of the new service in supporting local communities, artwork featuring community groups and organisations will feature on the inside rear of the vehicles, and these will be unveiled on launch day.
The launch of m1 follows the successful introduction of routes m3 and m2 that were launched in May and September this year, serving Emersons Green and Lyde Green Park and Ride to the city centre and Long Ashton Park and 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 from First’s mTicket 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.
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 just £4. According to a survey by TAS partnership published in February 2018, comparing 1,000 typical bus fares across the country, 98% of fares were higher than the ‘off-bus’ fares First charges to travel on its Bristol Zone services, including metrobus. Two-thirds of the UK pays more for day tickets than the £4.00 First charges for adult day tickets in Bristol.
Each metrobus stop along the m1 route will have an iPoint, By Sunday 6 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
James Freeman, Managing Director of m1 operator 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.”
Cllr Colin Hunt, South Gloucestershire cabinet member for transport, added “We are all looking forward to the start of the m1. It will connect south Bristol and the city centre with South Gloucestershire - visiting UWE and going all the way to Cribbs Causeway - providing a new choice for passengers.”
For more information and service enquiries, visit www.metrobusbristol.co.uk
To purchase travel card, visit buytickets.travelwest.info