First Manchester is increasing the number of journeys on the Vantage Busway as the total numbers using the popular service breaks 900,000, since the launch in April. In response to customer demand, the bus operator will add two extra buses from this week, providing more seats at busy peak times.
The Busway services are being delivered in partnership with TfGM, Wigan Council, Salford City Council, Manchester City Council and First Manchester, and since the introduction in April, the Busway has become increasingly popular with commuters travelling into Manchester and Salford.
In response to this, First Manchester has been reviewing options to allow the service to comfortably carry the increased number of customers, and has recently changed timetables to create more seats during peak times, and the business has also added two extra buses, which allows First Manchester to make more journeys each day.
In addition to this news, First Manchester will be adding five further buses in January 2017, in order to prepare for the extension of the route and to continue to provide increased capacity for the service.
Ian Humphreys, Head of Commercial for First Manchester said: “Over 900,000 customer journeys have been completed since Vantage launched on 3rd April, which is incredible. Vantage has become increasingly popular, which has resulted in a high demand for the service during certain times of the day, but we would like to reassure customers that we are reviewing the service every week to ensure there are more seats available during peak times.
“As a short-term solution, we have added extra journeys, over and above the specified timetable, in order to accommodate the increased number of customers. These journeys will be available during peak times, and will use Vantage buses where possible, but some conventional buses will be used in some instances.
“We will also be introducing five new vehicles in the New Year, which will aim to support increased capacity, as well as to assist with proposed route extensions.
“We would like to thank our customers for embracing Vantage, and for their patience whilst we endeavour to continue to provide a comfortable and safe journey for all passengers.”
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “By investing in innovative infrastructure and insisting on a premium standard of bus we’ve created a transport connection of real value and importance. The number of people benefiting from what’s been provided continues to grow and I am delighted to see our investment being so quickly rewarded.
“We and First Manchester want that success to continue and are in daily contact regarding the scale of these current issues and to identify the best solutions to resolve them.”