In the third week of December, First Bus reached a milestone with over 1.2 million journeys made by bus to the university since Welcome Week, a big increase on last year.
The bus experience of our staff and students in 2018/19 was poor, and in some cases terrible, but the service has improved significantly. The turnaround is very welcome and the result of investment by both the bus company and the University. More buses, better routes, quicker boarding and a more efficient arrivals square have all played their part.
That improvement has meant more people – students, staff and visitors – now use the bus service. That’s good news for the environment and for those who have to use a car, relieving the pressure on car parking that is limited by planning regulations.
We are now talking to the bus company so they can better match demand and supply, maintaining an optimum service whilst minimising emissions. Over the next few years some of the older buses will need to be upgraded to meet more demanding emission standards. Even better news for the environment. Whilst the improvements are good news, some routes (particularly the U2) have special challenges and we are in dialogue with BANES to see how traffic flow could be improved.
If your past experience has put you off using the bus service can I encourage you to give it another go. I think on the whole you will be pleasantly surprised.
For up to the minute updates on the UniBus service follow Twitter @bathunibus and for general feedback please post on the Facebook group UniBus Feedback.