Reduced bus fares, free small business fares on Saturdays and reduced bus journey time are just a taste of what is to come thanks to increased funding for the Portsmouth bus service.
Portsmouth City Council received confirmation today, April 4, 2022, of government funding to transform bus travel for Portsmouth residents. The city has received £48m to fund new tickets, reduced fares and to make bus journey times shorter and more reliable. This supports the implementation of the National Bus Strategy designed to increase bus use and achieve a wide range of economic, health and social goals.
The announcement comes just weeks after the government announced that Portsmouth and Hampshire would receive £6.5million for zero-emission buses, bringing the total funding to transform bus travel in Portsmouth and the region within the meaning wide at £54.5million.
In partnership with First and Stagecoach, the funding will be invested in revolutionizing bus travel in the city through a number of improvements that have been informed by feedback from residents and businesses.
Residents’ top priority was the need for lower fares and with this funding, the council plans to work with its partners to make tickets more affordable this year. A number of discounts will be introduced, including discounted tickets for young people up to the age of 19, a 90-minute hopper ticket for any passenger valid on any bus in the city during this period, family tickets and cheaper tickets for evening travel. . To help ensure the buses are accessible to all, discounts will also be offered to job seekers and hard to reach groups.
The council will also encourage bus use for all, while supporting the town’s economy, by offering free rides on ‘Small Business Saturdays’ and ‘Free Sundays’.
To ensure that bus passengers benefit from a best price guarantee, there are plans to develop a ‘tap on tap off’ bank card payment system on all buses, similar to the London Underground. Thus, passengers only pay for the journeys they take and fares are capped at daily and weekly limits.
Another key priority for residents was improving the frequency of bus service. The plan is to increase the frequencies of evening bus services on the main routes to every 20 minutes with the last trips at 23:00 and 01:00 on Friday and Saturday evenings. As well as starting services earlier with journeys from 4.30am on main routes with services running on Christmas Day for workers and people visiting family at home or in hospital.
Felicity Tidbury, Acting Deputy Director of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Government funding is fantastic news for the city, it’s the boost Portsmouth so badly needs, especially when the cost of living rises. , and we need to keep the city connected . This funding will also help us tackle air pollution from transport in Portsmouth so that everyone can live a healthier life.
The bus service improvement plan which was submitted to the government in October last year as a funding offer will now form the basis of the multitude of improvements planned for the city’s public transport over the of the next two years.
For more information on the plan visit https://travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/public-transport/