The States of Guernsey Traffic and Highway Servives Department say this represents a growth in passenger numbers of 9.75% as compared with 2015 and is the highest number of passengers recorded since data was first collected in this format in 1996.
Encouragingly, the increase has been spread across the whole year meaning that the majority of additional users are likely to regular users and resident in the Island. With the exception of January 2016, where there was a small decrease in passengers of 1.5%, the increases have ranged been between 7,000 and 30,000 passengers per month.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to this very encouraging position; including:
- The introduction of free transport across all scheduled services (excluding night bus services) for all students in full-time education provided that they use a ‘Student’ card;
- A successful campaign by the bus operator, CT Plus, to encourage cruise ship passengers to use all of the scheduled bus routes to explore various parts of the Island (rather than just the Routes 91/92);
- A new journey planning tool and the introduction of a Bus ‘App’ providing up to date information in both visual and written format of the whereabouts of all buses on the route network;
- The introduction of further new smart card products, including a new ‘unlimited’ 31 day travel card (priced at just £20) and a facility for topping up smart card products online (making it cheaper and even easier to travel on our services).
President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure Deputy Barry Brehaut said ‘The overall increase in passenger numbers is extremely encouraging and easily surpasses the previous record of 1,607,017 set in 2010.’
He went on to say ‘The bus service continues to provide a convenient and affordable option for commuters, shoppers and tourists and is also viewed by many as an essential service provider whether it be on social, medical or accessibility grounds. The Committee is hopeful that passengers numbers will continue to increase and looks forward to the commencement of its fleet replacement programme in 2017.’