Latest figures have revealed that over three million passenger journeys have been made on services using the Leigh to Ellenbrook Guided Busway over the past year.
The figure includes a growing number of commuters who have made the switch from car to busway. This equates to around 580,000 fewer* car journeys across the regional highway network each year, which is positive news in terms of improving air quality and reducing congestion.
Operated by First Manchester, the service launched in April 2016 and has clocked up 7.8 million journeys in its first three years.
Following the launch of the Greater Manchester Congestion Deal last year, and in response to increasing passenger demand, additional bus services were added in October 2018.
This means that there are currently 32 buses scheduled to arrive in Manchester city centre between the peak hours of 7am and 9am, providing more people with even greater access to retail, leisure and employment opportunities.
Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said: “This significant landmark of 3 million passenger journeys a year is testament to just how successful the guided busway has been since its introduction in 2016. Patronage has grown year upon year to the point where extra services have been added to cope with the demand – proving what an attractive and viable travel option it is.
“It is clear that, by providing a combination of segregated infrastructure, high quality vehicles and reliable services, buses can deliver a positive solution to changing the way people travel, tackling congestion and improve air quality. I’m committed to investing in the bus market so we can continue to improve the customer experience and encourage people to leave the car at home.”
*Figure is based on a survey of busway passengers, undertaken in July 2016, which showed that 20% of those asked had switched mode since the start of the busway services.