Metrobus has just announced its new m2 service from Long Ashton to the city centre will start running from Monday 3 September.
The m2 route, which will be operated by First Bus, was originally set to launch in autumn 2017. Issues with installing the Information Point (i point) machines at every stop and a section of the guided busway at Ashton Vale have meant delays to the schedule.
Tests revealed the 2.5km stretch of guided busway needed minor 20mm ‘adjustments’ to the road height.
The new service will run between Long Ashton Park and Ride and the city centre will serve Ashton Gate Stadium, SS Great Britain, and Wapping Wharf, down to Temple Meads Station and Cabot Circus.
It will replace the current 903 service between Long Ashton park and ride and the city centre, which is operated under contract to Bristol City Council.
Metrobus said: “…A key benefit for all passengers, including current 903 users, is that all of First’s wide range of day, season and group tickets will be accepted on the m2, allowing through travel onto other services.
“In the first two weeks of service, First will be offering m2 customers discounted travel with a promotional m2 week ticket for just £10, which is a 41% discount compared to a normal £17 FirstWeek ticket…”
The m2 uses the guided busway for part of its route which allows services to avoid the often congested Brunel Way and Cumberland Basin. A walking and cycling path alongside the m2 route to the city centre is already in use.
Managing Director First Bristol, James Freeman, said: “We are looking forward to taking MetroBus to the next level and start operating the m2 Service…
“A key benefit for future customers, including current 903 users, is that all of First’s wide range of day, season and group tickets will be accepted on MetroBus m2, allowing through travel onto other services.”
On Mondays to Saturdays the m2 Service will run from 6am, with the last bus leaving the Long Ashton Park and Ride at 9.30pm. On Saturdays the service will run from 10am and 6pm.
The m1 service from Hengrove through Knowle West to the city centre is due to be launched in the new year and will be operated by Bristol Community Transport – using biogas buses. Around 60 metrobus jobs are being created at its Parson Street depot in Bedminster.
The m3 service to Emerson’s Green has been running since the end of May with First reporting “steadily growing passenger numbers” with around 120,000 journeys made so far.
There is no date yet for the South Bristol Link route which was removed off the map in April to public outcry.
MP for Bristol South Karin Smyth demanded the route be reinstated as it was a crucial route to connect communities “currently poorly served by public transport” and to serve Bristol Community Hospital.
But Metrobus stated it was a core part of the Metrobus network and had not been removed but hadn’t “generated a commercial offer from bus operators.”
Buses are due to start using part of the South Bristol Link in the autumn when the Airport Flyer will start using a service on the Metrobus busway and new road.
For more information visit www.metrobusbristol.co.uk