As part of the national campaign spearheaded by Greener Journeys, Stagecoach North East and Arriva toured locations across the Tees Valley and gave away ‘Pop Pay As You Go’ smartcards, pre-loaded with £15, for members of the public to use on buses across the north east.
As in previous years, bus drivers were put at the heart of the north east promotion, as this year’s slightly tongue in cheek campaign featured a young toddler who aspires to be a bus driver when he grows up.
Colin Newbury, Operations Director, Stagecoach North East said. “Every year we like to have a bit of fun with our Catch the Bus Week campaign while at the same time telling people that our drivers are dedicated professionals who look forward to welcoming our passengers on board.
“Of course not all our drivers have wanted to drive buses since they were little, but they are committed to giving a first class service to customers. To help give people a nudge to try the bus we gave away Popcards, the north east’s new pay as you go smartcard that allows cashless travel on buses throughout the region.”
Nick Knox of Arriva North East added. “Catch the Bus Week is a great time to remind people about how important their local bus service is and how we work closely with other bus companies and the local authorities to deliver a high quality public transport system to residents across the Tees Valley. Arriva and Stagecoach North East, together with the local authorities, have invested over £57 million in improving local buses. We hope Catch the Bus Week encouraged people to get on board and see how things have improved.”
Dave Budd, chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “A significant amount of money has been invested into the bus network across Tees Valley. I hope that this fantastic initiative will encourage more people to catch the bus and those who are not regular public transport users realise what a prize asset we have and take advantage of it more often.”
Recent surveys reveal that thanks to recent investment, by bus operators, local councils and the Department for Transport, in highways and new buses, a record 90 percent of bus users are happy with their local services and 9/10 buses are running on time. As part of this year’s catch the bus week activities, to encourage people to give their local bus service a go, £1000’s worth of bus travel was given away at a series of events across the Tees Valley.