‘People’s Bus’ patronage up 117%
Following local community support, the No.4 service from Sheffield Interchange to Bents Green via Psalter Lane has grown in popularity by 117% and now carries over 1,600 passengers a week. Dubbed the ‘People’s Bus’, the No.4 was scheduled for withdrawal last year because of low patronage. Following consultation with the community and customer feedback, the service was retained by the Sheffield Bus Partnership when it was launched in October 2012. The No.4 was aided by the Community Bus Partnership, consisting of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport (SYPTE), TM Travel, Sheffield City Council and local residents. Thought to be one of the first of its kind in the UK, it sees customers promote the service to their community and their feedback helps shape the service and suggests how it can be improved. Residents promote the service by distributing timetables to local households and through community communication channels. They contribute to how it can be made even better at drop in sessions and through on board comment cards.
SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, David Young, said, ‘The community’s involvement in the development and promotion of the No.4 bus service is making a valuable contribution to its growing success. By listening to customer feedback on the service we are able to work together with them and the bus operator to continue to make direct improvements as a result. The opportunities the Community Bus Partnership initiative is presenting are exciting, and we hope to expand the scheme to include other bus routes in South Yorkshire, where the community want to work with us. This is a much more positive way to protect local bus services than the traditional “use it or lose it” type campaigns of the past.’