Patronage up 38% on Stirling Unilink routes

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Patronage has risen since the launch of its new-look fleet, the operator says. McGILL’S

McGill’s-owned Midland Bluebird is celebrating an increase in passenger numbers, following the launch of its new look Unilink bus route. The revitalised route has been met with a great response, the operator says, with over 38% more customer journeys since students returned in September compared to the same time last year.

The dedicated fleet has been refurbished with new branding, depicting all aspects of university life, and entered service at the start of the university year, alongside timetable changes to better meet the needs of students at the university.

Buses now run between Stirling city centre and campus up to every eight minutes, in addition to night buses, Monday to Saturday, meaning the last bus is now as late as 0315hrs six nights a week.

Group Managing Director Alex Hornby said: “Our reinvention of Unilink is another landmark chapter in our transformation at Midland Bluebird and another success story to support McGills’ track record of business turnaround. The presentation of Unlink deliberately aligns the bus to the needs of those studying, working and visiting the University of Stirling. The fleet is instantly recognisable, with fun and clear branding that makes it instantly clear as to how easy the bus is to use. Given our additional focus on service delivery, including having our team on hand at busy times to sell tickets and regulate the timetable, we are not surprised that our winning formula is achieving these outstanding levels of growth.

“We will continue to work with colleagues at the University and Student Union to support staff, students and their sustainability goals by providing a cleaner and greener mode of transport that makes the bus a more credible choice for their travel needs.”

Director for Scotland of Bus Users UK Greig Mackay added: “This investment by McGill’s in Unlink, which provides students with an eight-minute frequent service to the University is a major asset for Stirling, early patronage results already indicate that students are utilising this frequency. It emphasises the importance of good quality, frequent and reliable bus services which are crucial for passengers to access that can hopefully encourage modal shift from private vehicles as well. “