Monday, November 29, 2010

News: FreeBee bus smashes passenger target


The Rotherham FreeBee celebrated its first anniversary by smashing the passenger target set when it launched last October.

The free bus service, which carries passengers around Rotherham town centre and to Parkgate, has been a resounding success, and is now carrying an average of up to 9,000 passengers every week. Market Research has shown that the FreeBee is leading to people shopping more in both the Town Centre and Parkgate, which is great news for Rotherham.

David Young, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) Director of Customer Experience said: "We are delighted that the service has been such a big success in its first year. FreeBee offers a free and attractive service to local people, and provides good links to the town's thriving markets, shops and events, as well as to the complementary retail offer at Parkgate. It has made a really positive contribution to Rotherham and we hope it will continue to do so."

The number of passengers using the free bus service recently exceeded 10,000 in one week for the first time.

Parkgate Operations Manager, Billy Smith, said: "We have seen steady weekly increases all year, but the message has really got home that the free bus service is both free and frequent, and an idealway to combine shopping visits to Parkgate and the town centre. With the approach of the busy Christmas shopping period, this is a real plus for Rotherham."

The service is funded by SYPTE and operated by Powells, who are both members of the Travel South Yorkshire partnership. The environmentally-friendly buses used were the first of their kind in the town.

86% of customers say they are very satisfied with the service, which runs every 12 minutes from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm.

SYPTE website
Parkgate Shopping website



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