THIS Catch the Bus Week (2-8th July), all 18 commercial bus companies across Greater Manchester have come together to launch OneBus, reaffirming their commitment to improving bus travel and positioning the bus as the primary choice for local commutes.
To mark the occasion, free travel on any Greater Manchester bus will also be available this weekend (7-8 July) to holders of the Get Me There 16-18 Card.
OneBus members, headed by chief executive and spokesperson Gary Nolan, gathered together today (3rd July) to celebrate the launch of OneBus by highlighting the fantastic and vital work that thousands of bus service workers deliver for Greater Manchester’s economy. Gary, who started his career as a bus driver, said that the launch of OneBus unifies all Greater Manchester bus services under one brand identity and the common goal is to provide efficient, accessible and reliable bus services for everyone in the area, which staff play a pivotal part in delivering:
“It’s been wonderful to come together today in this iconic Media City location and celebrate the future of our industry, from our promising young apprentices and behind the scenes workers, to our experienced drivers on the frontline working with passengers every day.
“Bus travel literally drives Greater Manchester’s economy, from commuters travelling to work every day, to shoppers fuelling High Streets across the county, so it’s important that as collective operators we come together to ensure we are continually assessing and improving our performance across the board.
“To reflect this commitment externally, passengers and the general public will notice OneBus logos displayed on the circa 1,500 buses operating daily throughout Greater Manchester from this week onwards. We’re also pleased to have agreed as a group to offer passengers aged 16-18 years free travel this weekend to encourage bus travel and mark this special week.”
There are more than 200m bus journeys a year in Greater Manchester and buses account for around 80 per cent of public transport journeys across the county.
Independent transport user watchdog Transport Focus recently conducted research to show that bus passenger satisfaction across Greater Manchester continues to rise with overall 86 per cent of those surveyed reporting being satisfied the service they receive (up from 83 per cent last year).
David Sidebottom is Transport User Director at Transport Focus holding a position on the mayoral transport board, and has campaigned on a range of issues affecting bus, coach and tram passengers in the area. He was present at the launch to show his support for the new organisation.
He commented: “The launch of OneBus represents a dedicated, industry-wide pledge to work in partnership to maximise the potential of bus travel.
“This can only be a positive move for passengers who will see the benefits of this partnership across the board on the factors that matter most to them from ticketing and pricing, to air quality, security and customer experience on-board.”
Last year OneBus members recruited 17 new apprentices working in depots in roles including Mechanics, Electricians and Bodymakers and on buses across the network. OneBus is dedicated to developing new and emerging talent to ensure the successful future of the industry.
Gary continues: “We realise we have some big issues to tackle in Greater Manchester such as working with local authorities to play our role in minimising congestion, ensuring our network delivers and safeguarding best value for passengers. Through OneBus we can reassure all of our stakeholders of our unified approach and commitment to best practice across the board.”
Catch the Bus Week is an initiative designed to show people the benefits of taking the bus and to harness the potential of the bus to make the economy stronger and build a more inclusive society.
For more information visit www.one-bus.co.uk - to be launched later this week - or follow @OneBusGM on Twitter for updates.