Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) says that timetable changes plus new and extra buses are planned to improve Bee Network bus services, along with new weekly and monthly reports made available to show performance.
Following a review of service performance and after identifying areas where improvements need to be made to ensure services meet the Bee Network’s customer commitments, TfGM says that timetable changes will be made on 44 services from 28 January, and is in discussions with Go North West about bringing in additional buses as part of a planned timetable change in April.
From 25 January, TfGM also introduced a weekly update to show the punctuality of Bee Network services compared to before they came under local control and against non-franchised services, which will be shared on TfGM’s X (formerly Twitter) channel accompanied by a more detailed report being made publicly available every month.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “If we are to build the Bee Network and get more people onto public transport it’s really important that buses arrive on time and when passengers expect them. We inherited a system where too often this wasn’t happening, and now that they are under our control, we can do something about it.
“The changes this weekend is the latest in a series of improvements we have already made and once again highlight the benefit of a locally accountable network. We know we need to do more, but the information we have published, and will continue to make available every week, shows it is working – Bee Network buses are performing better than they did before coming under local control and better than the services we are not yet responsible for.
TfGM said it has been working with local authorities to reduce disruption to bus routes caused by roadworks and has installed new technology at more than 100 traffic signals to improve bus punctuality, but did not respond to CBW’s request to clarify why this could only be done as a result of franchising.
TfGM Director of Bus Stephen Rhodes said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering a consistently good performance for passengers, and since launching the Bee Network have been listening intently to feedback from customers and working closely with operators to monitor performance.
“The changes we are making this weekend aim to improve punctuality across the most complained about routes, where operational performance has not been good enough. This is just the start of improving bus reliability and we will continue to monitor performance across the network as we bring more services back under local control.”