Operator in process of rolling out Wrightbus-bodied Volvo single deckers which are being refurbished by Thornton Brothers
Passengers on First Aberdeen’s service 12 are to benefit from a new Platinum-branded service.
The launch comes six months after the operator unveiled its first Platinum service (route 19), which links the city centre with Culter and Tillydrone. The company has reported a rise in customer satisfaction and a 5% increase in passenger numbers, with more than 1,500 extra customers a week are using the service compared to 2013.
Platinum was also officially named Scotland’s Best Bus Service at the Scottish Transport Awards in June.
First Aberdeen is investing £250k and giving the Platinum treatment to Service 12, which operates every 10 minutes between Torry and Heathryfold via the city centre. The exterior and interior of 10 Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B7RLE single-deckers operating on the route are being completely refurbished by Thornton Brothers.
Platinum Service 12 will become one of the first services in northeast Scotland to feature ‘next stop screens’ and ‘next stop announcements’ providing an extra benefit to customers, especially new or infrequent bus users or passengers with sight or hearing issues.
Other benefits include leather seats, complementary Wi-Fi and new interior vinyls with service information and places of interest on the route. 30 of First’s drivers will receive enhanced customer service training and will operate on the Service 12 route and the company will introduce a no quibble guarantee enabling customers to claim a free journey should they be unhappy with any aspect of the service.
Service 12 customers can also access a dedicated Platinum website which features specific travel information, ticket information, latest news and maps. The site is www.firstgroup.com/platinum.
The first three Service 12 vehicles ‘premiered’ on the red carpet at First Aberdeen’s depot on July 4, ahead of their service debuts from July 7. A further seven vehicles will undergo transformation over the course of the next three weeks with all 10 vehicles on the road by July 28.
Managing Director of First Aberdeen, Duncan Cameron, said: “Platinum has been one of the bus industry’s success stories. In just six months it has delivered improvements in passenger satisfaction, is attracting more passengers and earlier this month was officially crowned ‘Scotland’s Best Bus Service’ at the Scottish Transport Awards.
“Over the last two years at First Aberdeen the entire team has been working hard to improve our services and attract more customers on board. Platinum is the most high profile, ambitious initiative that we’ve introduced and our most successful. Transforming another of our services into Platinum was an easy decision and I hope that customers using Service 12 will welcome the improvements.”
“Going forward we will continue to invest in all our services and make bus travel better. Customers can look forward to further improvements over the next six months.”