The partners behind the premium Vantage bus service are celebrating success this week as the latest figures show passenger numbers are growing year-on-year, which has resulted in 12,500 fewer cars journeys being made every week.
During September, Vantage was carrying on average 9,000 more passengers every week, in comparison to the same period in 2017. The bus has reported its highest number of passengers travelling on the service, which has reached 62,700. What’s more, the service has seen a 14 per cent increase in passengers boarding from Salford.
To assist with demand, additional journeys have been added onto the V3 and V4 services. This means there are now 27 buses scheduled to arrive in the Regional Centre between 0700 and 0900.
Speaking about the popular Vantage service, Ian Humphreys, Managing Director for First Manchester, said: “We’re pleased that Vantage continues to be a success and that people are opting to travel by bus, as opposed to driving into the city centre.
“We’re also proud that we now offer contactless as a payment method on board all of our Greater Manchester fleet, including Vantage. The introduction of contactless payments alongside our success with mobile ticketing means that paying for bus travel is more convenient and simpler than ever before and we’ve already seen eight per cent of customers making a switch to contactless. If more customers switched from cash to a digital payment method, then this would help to speed up bus boarding times and will, therefore, make overall journeys quicker.”
Councillor Roger Jones from Salford City Council, said: “The Vantage busway service has been a tremendous success since it was launched and continues to grow. 12,500 fewer car journeys on that stretch of road each week due to the scheme is an impressive figure and improves journey times for everyone. We’ll now continue to monitor the scheme to make sure it is operating as efficiently as possible for local people.”
Transport for Greater Manchester Committee Chair, Councillor Mark Aldred, said: “The additional buses that have been introduced to provide extra capacity are clearly having a welcome and positive impact and it’s great to see record numbers using Vantage services.
“As we look to tackle congestion and improve air quality, it’s vitally important that we continue to improve the customer experience and encourage people to leave the car at home.
“With even more services now running during the morning peak, an estimated 12,500 fewer cars are making the journey into the city per week – proving what an attractive and viable option Vantage is.”
The 4.5-mile bus-only guideway between Leigh, Tyldesley and Ellenbrook is part of TfGM’s £122 million investment package to deliver faster, more punctual and more reliable bus services across the region, to, from and through the city centre, encouraging people to switch from their cars.
For more information on the Vantage service, visit firstmanchester.com