The T1C TrawsCymru Aberystwyth to Cardiff service, operated by First Cymru will continue until at least December, Welsh Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates has announced.
The T1C is the extension to the Welsh capital of the regular T1, which links Aberystwyth with Carmarthen, via Aberearon and Lampeter. The T1C runs limited-stop between Carmarthen and Cardiff, via Cross Hands, Swansea Bus Station and Bridgend Outlet Village.
A First Cymru spokesman said: “We have reached agreement with the Welsh Government that we will continue to run service T1C between Aberystwyth and Cardiff for a further six months beyond its previously advertised end date of June 3. We’ve also agreed to accept and issue TrawsCymru day tickets on the service.”
The extension to the current pilot aims to help the Welsh Government better assess the needs and travel patterns of customers, taking account of the summer tourist season and beyond, before making a long-term decision on the service.
Mr Skates said: “When we introduced the T1C service a little under six months ago, we did so to facilitate direct bus travel between West Wales and Cardiff. We’ve since seen this service used by a variety of groups and individuals, from students to shoppers to holiday goers.
“At the same time however, we have made no secret that the service is not as popular as we might have expected. This can perhaps be explained by the introduction of a commercial service run by Stagecoach’s megabus.com earlier this year covering largely the same route, albeit with notable exceptions.
“Given this, I think there is great merit in extending the pilot for another six months. This will ensure any long-term decision on the future of the service is made with a full year of data, while allowing us to continue to talk to passenger groups, bus operators, councils and interested parties about the service.”