One year on from Rosso becoming part of the Transdev family the company and its customers are celebrating 12 months of success.
New and better buses, great value tickets which offer more travel for less, and up-to-the-minute technology featuring live departure information, fast and free on board WiFi and easy to use contactless payment and mobile ticketing apps have all transformed the fortunes of the company.
Rosso’s 240 staff and 102 buses became part of Transdev in January 2018 – a move which gave the green light to an immediate £3 million investment in a new fleet high-spec buses for its routes in and around Rossendale, Bury and Rochdale, attracting rising customer numbers to hop on board.
This has seen customer numbers on its main network rise by over 9% in the last 12 months. The rapid pace of positive change at the formerly council-owned company shows no sign of slowing down – with a package of improvements just delivered for many of Rosso’s most popular services, including Lakeline, linking Littleborough with Rochdale. Lakeline takes its name from Hollingworth Lake, the 130-acre reservoir, country park and wildlife sanctuary at Smithy Bridge served by its revitalised buses.
Rosso introduced eye-catching, new-look buses to Lakeline in summer 2018, leading to a 10.2 per cent rise in customers using the service by October compared with the previous year. Now, the popular Lakeline buses, run in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), have been boosted to run up to every 15 minutes between Littleborough and Rochdale.
Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “We promised to keep on improving when Rosso became part of our family of bus companies in 2018, and one year on we’re even more determined to keep on delivering a bigger and better service for our customers.
“In just 12 months we’ve welcomed thousands more customers on board as a result of our investment in better bus services right across Rossendale and in Greater Manchester. These are all designed with the customer in mind – with attractive local branding that celebrates the people and places we are so proud to serve.
“The latest investment in the new Lakeline brand has seen a double-digit rise in the number of customers now travelling on this route alone – and we’re working hard to build on those excellent results with more improvements across our network in 2019.
“Our revitalised Lakeline buses are designed with our customers in mind, with contactless payments to make buying tickets easy and help keep the service on time. We hope our newly-improved Lakeline buses will be even more popular – the customer reaction so far has been excellent.
Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd joined Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Mohammed Zaman and Littleborough Lakeside Councillor John Hartley at Rochdale bus station to celebrate Rosso’s success.
Mr Lloyd said: “The improvement in Rosso’s quality of service in the last 12 months is clear to see, and it’s excellent to see the positive partnership between Rosso and TfGM already producing an impressive increase in numbers using the Lakeline services.
“These services play a vital role in supporting our local economy, as well as making it easy for people across the region to enjoy our popular visitor attractions.”
Rochdale Mayor Coun. Mohammed Zaman said: “Our area has a lot to offer and these Rosso buses are a simple and affordable way to enjoy it and help protect our local environment at the same time.
“I’m very impressed by just how easy the buses are to use – much better than the stress of driving and parking. Rosso’s buses really are a great way to travel.”
Further improvements to Rosso’s services in the last month include a new Trax branded service, with revitalised buses now running up to every 10 minutes between Rochdale and Bury – while its smart new-look Irwell Line buses, featuring free WiFi, at-seat USB power and easy contactless payments, are also now running up to every 15 minutes between Rawtenstall and Bury.
Information on Rosso’s bus services, is available on its website and via the ‘Transdev Go’ smartphone app, with free timetable guides also available from bus stations and interchanges across the region.