Bristol BRT expects five million passenger journeys per annum

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First Bristol will operate the MetroBus scheme
First Bristol will operate the MetroBus scheme

MetroBus scheme expected to outperform successful Severn Beach rail line and Showcase bus routes

The new £200m MetroBus BRT network in Bristol, which is currently under construction, is expected to attract five million passengers a year.
This is far ahead of a typical Showcase bus route, which annually carries between one and two million passengers in and out of Bristol, and the Severn Beach rail line carried 1.2 million passengers during the past 12 months.

MetroBus aims to provide a fast and reliable bus service on three routes in the Bristol area. The BRT is expected to give thousands of commuters a viable alternative to using their car to get backwards and forwards to work.

South Gloucestershire Cllr Brian Allinson, Transport Leader for the West of England Partnership, said: “Passengers will use MetroBus because it is quicker and more reliable over longer distances, saving up to 20 minutes on some of the longer journeys across the city centre.

“Direct routes between places means MetroBus will give people faster journeys, and many people will save time by not having to change buses.
“As soon as people see the time savings with MetroBus, I am sure they will become regular users.

“More people travel to work by bus than all other forms of public transport combined – and a fast, reliable service should make it even more attractive to more people, helping to take cars off the road and reduce carbon emissions.”

The new MetroBus single deckers will have twin doors to make it quicker for passengers to get on and off. There will be fewer stops – a total of 90 – which will mean quicker journey times.

Passengers will be able to use Oyster-style smart cards to speed up boarding.

The partnership’s forecast on the number of passengers is based on ‘passenger journeys’ which means that one person will use the system more than once, possibly many times during the course of a year.
The forecast was compiled by consultants commissioned by the partnership, using guidelines laid down by the Department for Transport, which checked the figures.

Gavin Smith, secretary of the pressure group Transport for Greater Bristol, said: “I cannot quote figures myself but I can’t imagine this many passengers on the new network each year.

“The problem with MetroBus is that it is a subsidised service which means the city council will be helping to pay for out-of-town commuters travelling in and out of Bristol.

“The money should really be spent on re-opening rail stations and old track so that we have a proper metro system, just like other big cities.”