It’s Catch the Bus Week
This week is Catch the Bus Week.
This week is Catch the Bus Week. Now in its third year, the annual campaign is run by sustainable transport group, Greener Journeys. Its aim is to drive the nation’s awareness of the benefits of taking the bus. It was officially launched in London by Minister for Buses, Andrew Jones.
During the launch, Andrew Jones said, ‘It is fantastic that the whole bus industry has come together to promote Catch the Bus Week, and I fully support the campaign. Buses provide a vital service to local communities as well as reducing the number of cars on the roads. Low emission buses are also helping to improve air quality, particularly in built-up areas. The government also recognises the importance of buses in rural areas, particularly for the elderly and less mobile, and in March it was announced that more than 300 charities and community groups are due to get new minibuses from the DfT’s £25m community transport minibus fund.’
Who’s doing what?
FirstBus is promoting Catch the Bus Week with events across the country. In North England, the operator is using the event as a launch pad for some important announcements, such as the official unveiling of brand new buses in Halifax. First Cymru, amongst a range of initiatives, is launching its Customer Charter and Cymru Commitment along with a competition for drivers. Activities have been planned for every day of the week in West of England, including a Wheel of Fortune competition.
In First Aberdeen passengers can win a three month ticket if they tweet a photo of their bus ticket and complete the sentence: ‘I like getting the bus because…’. Similar social media related competitions are planned in the Solent, Dorset, the West of England, Essex and Eastern Counties. Elsewhere on First’s UK bus network, ticket promotions are being run and managers will be out meeting customers. Meanwhile customer panels, customer focus days and bus surgeries are also being held.
Go-Ahead companies will be hosting a range of activities aimed at getting people to leave their cars behind and use buses instead. Go-Ahead’s Group Marketing Director, Katy Taylor, said, ‘There will be events, ticket giveaways and lots of fun activities taking place across all our bus companies. We’re promoting the week in collaboration with local radio stations and local councils, at shopping centres, schools and colleges. We expect social media will continue to play an even stronger role in getting our message out there with online activities to win free travel and mobile-tickets promotion offers as well as Twitter and Facebook competitions and games.’
Stagecoach is getting involved, with Stagecoach South West offering passengers the opportunity to ‘add a kid for a quid’. The offer is open to any adult travelling with a child, as long as they have a full price ticket. Stagecoach East Midlands is holding a competition in primary schools local to Lincoln asking schoolchildren to design a perfect bus. The winner’s class will receive an outing on a Lincoln City Tour to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta. Its other companies, including Stagecoach South East and Stagecoach West Scotland, are running Twitter based competitions and town centre events to promote the week.
Thamesdown Transport is urging people to get on board to beat the traffic during Catch the Bus Week. The operator is giving away a series of daily prizes to its Twitter followers (www.twitter.com/thamesdown). MD of Thamesdown Transport, Paul Jenkins, said, ‘Travelling by bus is a convenient and green way of getting around Swindon. I would encourage people to make the most of Catch the Bus Week to see how easy it is to go by bus and the potential savings compared to driving and parking. We’ve recently extended a number of our routes and improved the frequency of services, particularly in the evening.
West Midlands transport authority, Centro, is backing Catch the Bus Week by holding a #BusSelfie competition. It is seeing passengers posting their selfies taken on the bus via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They will then be entered into a prize draw with the winner receiving a four week nBus Swift ticket. Throughout this week, Centro staff have been present at bus stations and travel information centres promoting the event and talking to passengers about how they can get the most out of the network.
Catch the Bus Week is seeing 120 employees from Sheffield’s Fargate and Orchard Square shops switch to public transport for not only the week, but 28 days. Staff taking part have received free travel throughout the county on any bus, tram or train in return for moving their commute from the car. The free travel is part of the government’s Busboost initiative, which is delivered by Inmotion! and funded through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Catch the Bus Week 2015 is supported by Sheffield Bus Partnership.
South Yorkshire’s lost property has been revealed as part of Catch the Bus Week. Amongst the most shocking items left on board by the region’s public includes a child in a carry cot, a box of kittens, a false leg and a kitchen sink.
Merseyside transport authority, Merseytravel, along with bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach, started Catch the Bus Week with a Roadshow and Customer Forum. This was followed by a ‘Meet the Director’ event, with senior representatives from all three organisations on hand to meet passengers and answer questions face to face, followed by a live Twitter chat. Catch the Bus Week follows the announcement of plans for the next phase of Merseytravel’s smart ticketing programme in conjunction with operators. The most popular types of Merseytravel’s pre-paid bus pass, Solo, will go electronic from 7 September.
Municipals are getting involved too. Ipswich Buses is offering travel on its frequent town buses all day for only £3.50 and extending the availability of its £4 Group all day ticket to start at 10.00 on weekdays..’