- Bus passengers rise 5.3% in the last three months
- On course to reverse long-term decline of the city’s bus market
New figures show that the numbers of people using buses in Sheffield is on the rise – reversing a near continuous decline.
Figures for the numbers travelling on buses as part of the city’s ground-breaking Sheffield Bus Partnership (SBP) show that the overall number of passenger journeys has risen by 5.3% in the last three months.
There continues to be big improvements in punctuality, reliability and a huge fall in customer complaints compared to the pre-Partnership levels.
Fare-paying passenger numbers rose sharply by more than 14% and if these trends continue it will mean that the first year of the Partnership will see a turnaround in the historic decline in the numbers of people using buses over nearly three decades.
The Sheffield Bus Partnership, launched in October last year, aimed to change all this. It is a voluntary Partnership which brings together bus operators Stagecoach, First, and Sheffield Community Transport with Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE). It aims to grow the numbers of bus passengers by making the network easy to use, reliable and more convenient.
Discounted multi-operator tickets have been introduced which can be used interchangeably on different firms’ buses, some fares fell by 23% and newer, greener, low-floor buses have been introduced. There are also fewer changes to routes and timetables, making the network simpler and more stable.
In less than a year the bus market is starting to grow once more.
David Young, SYPTE Interim Deputy Director General, said: “This is terrific news, showing that passengers can see the difference the Partnership has made and are coming back to travel on their buses.
“We have tried very hard to listen to customers and to give them a bus service which is designed around their needs and which they can depend on. Together with figures showing improvements in punctuality and reliability as well, I think these new passenger numbers show that all these changes are working.”
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Skills & Development, said: “We made a determined decision to back the Bus Partnership Agreement as a ground breaking approach to improving bus services in the city. Despite some initial scepticism, we were confident that the Bus Partnership Agreement could deliver real improvements. The figures for the first year of the Agreement show the Bus Partnership Agreement is being successful and I look forward to seeing ongoing improvements as the Agreement is built upon.”
Paul Lynch, Stagecoach Yorkshire Managing Director, said: “Customer service is extremely important, so we are delighted that the new figures show how we are meeting the expectations of passengers with reliable services, a flexible network and value-for-money tickets. Working together, it is fantastic to see the Partnership making a real difference to bus travel in Sheffield.”
Dave Alexander, Regional Managing Director for First UK Bus – North Region, said: "This growth in passenger numbers is another sign that the Sheffield Bus Partnership is working well and is providing a stable bus network for our customers and local communities."
For more information visit sheffieldbuspartnership.co.uk