Swansea’s successful free bus promotion is set to return during the school holidays in October and at Christmas.
During August the initiative funded by Swansea council saw more than 220,000 passengers get on board buses.
And on the back of that success the council has confirmed that subject to funding it’s planning to allow passengers will to travel free anywhere in Swansea during October half term and the Christmas holidays.
First Cymru reported passenger numbers jumped by as much as 51% during the summer holiday offer while some of the busiest routes operated on Gower saw passenger numbers increase by up to 65%.
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.
“That’s why it’s important we extend the free offer during the half-term and Christmas holidays, subject to funding and discussions with bus operators.
“We want more people to benefit and use the bus to get to work, to go shopping, visit family and friends or enjoy a night out.
“We will continue to do all we can to help families and businesses as we recover from the pandemic.”
For five long weekends during the school summer holidays people were able to travel for free on journeys that started and finished in Swansea. Passenger numbers on some of the busiest Gower routes increased by 65%.
First Bus reported that the third and fourth weekends of the offer was its busiest, with a 51% and 49% increase respectively in passenger numbers compared to the same weekend the year before.
Even the rainy starting and finishing weekends of the offer didn’t dampen spirits with 38% and 26% increases in passenger numbers recorded by First Bus.
Cllr Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment, welcomed the number of passenger using public transport.
He said, “We are committed to doing all we can in Swansea to tackle climate change.
“Our free bus offer has seen people switch from their cars to busses which helps to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
“By extending the offer we hope more people will make the switch to public transport.”