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Free bus offer boosts enthusiasm for public transport

Lots of residents in Swansea who took advantage of a free bus offer operating throughout the summer say they will continue using public transport.

free bus survey

Swansea Council provided free bus transport on weekends for everyone in the city during the summer holidays in a bid to help the city recover from the financial impact of the pandemic. It also wanted to encourage more people to consider using buses instead of their car to get around in the future.

A new survey completed recently by the council has shown that many of those who travelled on the free service will use buses again and could lead to an increase in future passenger numbers.

More than 450 people took part in the survey and when asked if the free bus offer would encourage them use buses more regularly, more than 75% said they would.

Recent passenger numbers supplied by transport operators to the council for the duration of the offer highlighted 220,000 passengers used the free service.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council said, "We launched Free Ride Swansea to help families and businesses that struggled due to the pandemic.

"Families have told me what a difference it's made for them. They've been able to enjoy days out without worrying about the cost of travel.

"It's also boosted the local economy with people travelling to the city centre, our attractions and shopping centres across Swansea.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement & Infrastructure Management, said: "We've been pleased with the response and the support from residents in Swansea who took advantage of the free bus offer.

"Along with our aim of supporting families and businesses, we really wanted to make a case for residents choosing to travel on buses in the future and for them to leave the car at home.

"The results of the survey certainly suggest that people are willing to make this change from time to time and make use of public transport. This is great news, not only for the council in reducing congestion on our roads but also for public transport companies."

Adam Keen, Managing Director, Adventure Travel, said: "This campaign looks to have done exactly what it was intended to. It captured people's attention and got them onto a bus. Better still, the survey suggests that many of the new travellers will travel again, which is the best possible outcome.

"As an operator, we applaud this initiative and look forward to more of the same across Wales."