Today (Monday 2nd July) marks the start of Catch the Bus Week, a nationwide campaign to promote taking the bus. Local bus operator First Cymru is marking the occasion with a suite of promotional offers aimed specifically at customers using its Swansea and Bridgend services.
The bus company, which earlier in the year topped a nationwide customer survey recently as the best commercial bus service in Wales, encourages customers to give its popular mTicket smartphone app a go, and offers new users who download the mTicket app during Catch-the-Bus week a chance to win one of 175 free day tickets for bus travel, which means lucky first-time users could travel one day for free.
For customers travelling in Bridgend, it launches the Bridgend Day ticket for £4.50 on mTicket (£5 cash); the company said the last time this fare was this price was before 2013.
Swansea customers can take advantage of the company’s new £18 Flexi5 bundle of 5 Swansea day tickets on mTicket, which works out at £3.60 per day and gives a £4.50 saving compared to when customers buy 5 single day tickets; this means customers buy the equivalent of 4 day tickets and get 1 day free.
Andrew Sherrington, who took the helm as Managing Director for First Cymru in April, said:
“We want to encourage more people to catch the bus. Existing First Cymru customers told us in a recent survey that they rate our services and staff as amongst the best in the country. We are launching these offers during Catch the Bus Week so more people can experience our highly rated bus service and our first-class drivers, wo are truly committed to providing an excellent customer service.”
There are many benefits to catching the bus – including helping the environment and improving your wellbeing. If the promotional offers are not convincing enough, here are five top reasons why you should switch a car journey to a bus trip this week.
- A fully loaded bus can take 75 cars off the road – Buses are key to tackling congestion and reducing emissions in the city – and in fact, the latest buses with Euro VI engines, offer 95% to 99% reductions in the most harmful pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxide and particulates against the Euro II and Euro III buses they replace.
- You can now pay for your bus via contactless – While the best deals can be found on the company’s mTicket app, since late March First Cymru has been accepting contactless payments across its entire bus fleet, and is the only bus operator in Pembrokeshire to accept contactless – so there’s no need to worry about having the right change for the driver anymore!
- An easy way to burn more calories and get regular exercise – Greener Journeys research found that the daily short walk to and from the bus stop and destination can burn 22,630 calories a year, with daily bus users clocking up the annual equivalent of 11 marathons. Both young and older people both use the bus to get exercise. 58% of 25-34 year-olds said the bus made them feel fitter healthier, as did half of those aged 65 or over.
- Getting the bus can be less stressful than travelling by car – Dr Lewis, from the University of Sussex, conducted an experiment in which the heart rate and Electro-Dermal Response (EDR) of 30 commuters was measured when taking identical or similar journeys by car as a driver and by bus as a passenger – the results showed that driving a car is significantly more stressful than travelling by bus.
- Bus travel can make you feel happier – A study of 18,000 British workers by a team at University of East Anglia found commuting that involved some physical activity improved measures like feelings of worthlessness, sleepless nights and unhappiness.
Andrew Sherrington said:
“For most people the daily commute to work is something to be put up with rather than enjoyed, yet how we get there and how long it takes has an impact on how we feel. The benefits of bus travel can outweigh the daily stresses of commuting by car, so with this week being national Catch the Bus Week, we’d like to encourage drivers to do something different and make at least one journey that would have been made by car, by bus instead. I hope to see you there!”
Catch the Bus Week is a nationwide campaign aimed at driving awareness of the benefits of taking the bus. This year, the campaign runs from the 2nd – 8th July and representatives from First Cymru, South Wales Transport and Neath Port Talbot Council will be at a Bus Users UK-organised ‘Your Bus Matters’ event in Neath Civic Centre on Friday 6th July from 10.00 until 14.00 to answer any questions, listen to concerns and provide timetables and other information.