First and McGill’s partner to continue Glasgow night buses
The news follows First’s announcement last month it was to stop running the routes, describing them as no longer viable. After the announcement, the media reported an outcry from groups and businesses in the area concerned about the lack of these services.
First Bus will operate four-night bus routes between 12.45am and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights while McGill’s Group will take on a further five routes. This collaborative solution preserves the majority of night bus journeys.
The operator stresses this new approach stretches First Glasgow’s driver resource as far as it possibly can to provide services into the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning.
First Bus’ data shows a post-pandemic shift in behaviour in Glasgow, with over 2,500 more people catching the bus between 10:30pm and midnight on Friday and Saturday nights than before.
“This solution allows us to continue to operate a night bus service in the face of the current driver shortage” – Duncan Cameron, Managing Director for First Bus Scotland
Duncan Cameron, Managing Director for First Bus Scotland, said: “Following discussions with business owners and key stakeholders in the city, we are pleased to announce a new collaborative solution alongside McGill’s Group to continue offering a comprehensive night bus network in Glasgow.
“When we first announced the withdrawal of our night bus services, we highlighted the challenges we faced as a business. This solution allows us to continue to operate a night bus service in the face of the current driver shortage.
“It also highlights the importance of the Glasgow Bus Partnership in being agile and the benefits of operators working together to overcome challenges, providing the services needed by the people of Glasgow.
“We understand the need for a wider late-night public transport strategy in Glasgow. Our hope is we will now see action from stakeholders, politicians and other transport modes to support local businesses and provide a way forward for the city’s night-time economy.”
The news also follows the recent announcement of enhancements on services 2 and 3 in Glasgow from 20 August which will improve services for over 600,000 people per month in the city as First Glasgow continues to utilise data to allocate resource to meet demand.