The number of bus passengers in Brighton & Hove increased by 4.6% last year, maintaining a year on year trend stretching back over the last 10 years.
In total, 34.3 million passenger trips were taken during 2003/04, confirming the popularity of bus services in the city. The consistently upward trend is unique outside London.
This is good news for businesses operating in the city centre. It indicates that people are increasingly putting their trust in a means of transport that will help to relieve congestion in the city. If the number of cars can be reduced without reducing the number of shoppers then everyone wins.
Councillor Simon Battle, transport spokesperson for Brighton & Hove City Council, said, "This proves we have the right formula for encouraging more people to use the bus as a fast, efficient and cost-effective way of getting around the city. We are developing our links with the bus company to improve passenger information, creating bus priority lanes and matching kerbs to low-level bus platforms so that the buses are more accessible."
Roger French, managing director of Brighton & Hove Buses, said, "I think our success is due to being customer-focused, increasing the frequencies of buses on cross-city routes, making fares simple and our partnership with the Council. We will certainly be building on this success in the months to come."
The company, which has 250 buses and employs 940 staff, recently introduced real-time display signs on 36 buses which show passengers which stop they are approaching is particularly useful for people new to the area.
Brighton & Hove City Council has forged a strong partnership with Brighton & Hove Buses to introduce a satellite tracking system and electronic bus signs that show when buses are actually due. It is now working on making this information available on a website and on mobile phones.
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