Glasgow bus operators join forces to transform city’s bus service

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Operators have joined forces with a pledge to improve sustainable bus travel in Scotland’s second city

Bus operators from across the Glasgow city region have joined forces to create the Glas-Go Bus Alliance, formed to improve sustainable travel in and out of the city whilst aiming to increase bus patronage by 25% over the next five years.

The Alliance has produced a manifesto which it says captures a multi-operator vision and lays out a commitment to delivering and investing in sustainable, reliable and customer focused bus travel.

Operators involved so far include: Stagecoach; First; JMB Travel; McGill’s; Whitelaws; and West Coast Motors, operators of Glasgow Citybus and Glasgow City Sightseeing. All operators in the region will be invited to join.

In its five year plan the operators vow to continue to invest in greener and cleaner vehicles and improve service connections, including seamless travel with other modes of transport.

The Alliance said that meaningful engagement with current and potential customers, affordable and easy to use ticketing, and improved and simplified travel information will be instrumental in encouraging more people to ditch the car and hop on a bus. It believes that the launch of free bus travel in Scotland for under 19s and 22s later this year and early next year respectively will be a major driving force in encouraging more bus travel amongst younger people.

Glas-Go will also work in partnership with the region’s local authorities and SPT through the Glasgow Bus Partnership Steering Group to deliver in areas outwith operators’ control, including congestion, road infrastructure, bus priority measures and on street travel information.

The Glasgow Bus Partnership Steering Group is already well underway in its application to secure funding from the Scottish Government’s £500m Bus Fund to increase bus priority measures to tackle the negative impacts of congestion and increase patronage.

The Glas-Go Bus Alliance is chaired by Fiona Doherty, Managing Director of Stagecoach West Scotland, with Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director of First Glasgow, as Vice Chair. Fiona said: “This is the right time for bus operators in the City region to join forces and launch the Glas-Go Bus Operator Alliance manifesto. We look forward to working with all of the key stakeholders in the city region as we move to work together to make bus services better for our customers.

“No one organisation has all the solutions, so if buses are truly to be successful and provide what customers need, then they need greater support from stakeholders, particularly with critical matters such as tackling congestion which undermines the delivery of reliable services, results in inefficient running and adds to the cost of travel.

“Buses only contribute 4% of all transport related emissions, which means buses are great enablers for green and active travel as well as playing a huge role in the economic and environmental well-being of the city region, both of which will be critical as we continue our recovery out of the global pandemic. If the city is to deliver it’s green ambitions, we all have to challenge our travel patterns and having a bus network that everyone wants to use is our ambition.”

Andrew Jarvis added: “We are pleased to launch The Glas-Go Bus Alliance, which captures a multi operator vision and pushes forward sustainable bus travel for the city and its neighbouring authorities.

“Like most industries our world will be a very different place as we step back out, the Alliance – and our collaborations with local authorities and SPT – presents a fantastic opportunity to truly understand people’s new travel requirements and design a transport system befitting to a world class city.”

Joan Aitken, former Traffic Commissioner for Scotland and the independent Chair of the Glasgow Bus Partnership Steering Group added: “The Glas-Go Bus Alliance is great for the people of Glasgow. Bus travel is crucial to so many people in the city and I am so pleased bus operators across the city region have come together to make such bold commitments. The Alliance is a very significant development and without doubt these operators are offering a vision which very much puts the customer at the heart of its thinking.”

The Glas-Go Bus Alliance Manifesto can be found at