May 24, 2018
Bristol Community Transport (BCT) is to be the operator of the longest metrobus route, connecting South Bristol and North Bristol vis the city centre.
BCT is one of Bristol’s smallest mainstream operators and began as a social enterprise, which ran four bus routes last year under a local authority contract. Being a social enterprise means that any commercial profits are returned to the community via investment in other projects or further services. BCT will run the longest route under contract to First West of England, meaning integration of tickets for local buses will be possible.
“We believe this is the first time that operators have been contracted to each other in the interests of keeping things simple for the travelling public.”
Approximately £7 million will be spent on the buses for the new route, with the fleet being innovative and environmentally friendly. All buses are low-emissions and they also run 21 biogas buses, which are powered via the energy from food waste. The biogas buses will have WiFi onboard and USB charging ports available at every seat.
Community Transport Benefits
There are multiple benefits to the local community which will arise via this contract. The significant upgrade to the public transport system will hopefully encourage people to get out and about locally, choosing public transport over cars. The integration of tickets allows for simple further travel, making it easier for people to explore Bristol using public transport. Managing director of First West of England, James Freeman, said:
“This is a really innovative operating model. We believe that this is the first time in England that operators have been contracted to each other in the interests of keeping things simple for the travelling public.”
Supporting the Local Community
There is hope that this new bus route will encourage the local community to become engaged with one another and bring life back to the city. As mentioned before, BCT is a social enterprise. This means that any profits will be put back into the community and used to better the residents lives – funding local projects and activities, particularly those aimed at the disabled and the elderly.