Phase two of Bee Network contract awards announced
Go North West and First Manchester have been appointed to run school bus services in the second phase of Manchester’s Bee Network roll out.
Go North West has been awarded three contracts and First Manchester six contracts, covering a total of 11 schools in Oldham, Rochdale, Manchester and Bury, with franchised bus services beginning to operate from 25 March 2024. There will be no changes to the schools served or the numbers of buses used under the new contracts.
As well as the school services, other general Bee Network bus services will be run by Stagecoach, First and Diamond, as announced in June 2023.
“This adds to the large franchise work we already operate based at Bolton and Wigan depot” – Go North West Managing Director, Nigel Featham
Go North West Managing Director, Nigel Featham, said: “We are delighted to be awarded additional work, and look forward to working closely with TfGM to deliver “best of class” school bus transport.
“This adds to the large franchise work we already operate based at Bolton and Wigan depot. We have an exceptional team at Go North West and proud of the quality of services we provide for passengers.”
“We look forward to working with the Mayor and Transport for Greater Manchester in building the Bee Network and are thrilled to be serving new communities in the region” – Zoe Hands, Managing Director of First Bus in Manchester
Zoe Hands, Managing Director of First Bus in Manchester, said: “First Bus is delighted to be awarded these franchise contracts for school services in Greater Manchester.
“We look forward to working with the Mayor and Transport for Greater Manchester in building the Bee Network and are thrilled to be serving new communities in the region.
“Our absolute priority will be to deliver a reliable service in partnership with TfGM with a best-in-class, customer-first approach.”
Since the start of the Bee Network in September, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) reports patronage on buses in the franchised network has grown 8%. TfGM says the V1 service between Leigh and Manchester is now performing better than before, when comparing on time departures from Leigh for the same period last year.
The Bee Network app has been updated following customer feedback, with Apple and Google Pay functions going live this month. A journey planning feature is due to be added in early 2024.