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Number of bus passengers is up for fifth year in succession

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BUS use has risen for the fifth consecutive year.

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said the public were gaining confidence in the reliable and frequent bus service.(Picture by Steve Sarre, 18878503)

A total of 1,837,789 passenger journeys were recorded on public scheduled bus services during 2018, representing an increase of 50,220 passenger journeys, or 2.8%, compared with 2017.

There were 482,796 more passenger journeys than in 2013.

‘The importance of providing a reliable, frequent and timely service is recognised as being an essential factor in gaining public confidence in the service,’ said Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut.

‘Together with the recent acquisition of 34 new ultra-low-emission diesel buses, the provision of improved passenger facilities at the bus terminus and at various other locations around the island, the bus service is looking to continue attracting passenger growth in 2019 and beyond.’

The new bus fleet has cost the States around £4.5m.

CT Plus is also paid more than £4m. a year to run the service.

Income from fares goes to the States.

This amounted to £1.138m. in 2017, the latest year for which figures have been published.

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Passenger journeys in all four quarters of 2018 were the highest recorded since records in the current format were introduced.

Director of Traffic and Highway Services Karl Guille said: ‘Bus passenger journeys in the summer months can be heavily influenced by fluctuations in the numbers of tourists and, in particular, cruise ship passengers visiting the island.

‘In August of this year, monthly passenger journeys peaked at 209,130, easily surpassing last year’s record monthly total for August of 203,997 passenger journeys.

‘However, it is in the “shoulder” months where the most passenger growth has been witnessed, with passenger journeys in January, February, November and December 2018 rising by a combined average of 4.8%.

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‘This is particularly encouraging as passenger journeys in these core winter months are largely undertaken by the resident population.’

The number of fare-paying passengers has risen by 42,705 (3.2%), student by 5,753 (3.1%) and concessions (OAPs) up by 3,944 (1.6%).

The Nightowl services operated on three routes on Friday and Saturday evenings had an additional 3,355 passengers using them in 2018, representing a growth rate of 15%.

The number of fare-paying passengers using Smart Card products increased by 72,832 (13%) in 2018 with the corresponding number of people paying by cash reducing by 30,127 (4%).

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
author

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