As I outlined in my e-mail of 7 August, last year both students and staff reported significant issues and inconvenience due to the bus service run by First Bus, particularly when the routes serving campus were altered. The University has intensified discussions with First Bus over the summer months with the aim of ensuring a smoother start to the year for both students and staff.
We can now confirm the University is in final discussions with First Bus about improved performance and as a result:
There will be more capacity for both the U1 and U2 routes;
The U3 (previously U1X) will now run all day between approximately 07:00 and 19:30;
There will be a more reliable evening operation.
The University has also invested in directly employing two Transport Customer Liaison Officers, in addition to the one we already employ, who will help improve the effectiveness of the bus operation. We also expect the improvements to the Arrivals Square will further improve the experience for staff and students.
We will be holding regular meetings with First Bus so we can inform them of known changes in demand (including major events) and ensure that passenger feedback provided directly to First is fully understood.
You may already be aware of the new Twitter account (@bathunibus), which will be active from 22 September, and will provide more up to date information from First Bus staff. This website has been set up, which is unrelated to First Bus, but some people are finding helpful to track buses using the live GPS ‘map’ function.
Feedback mechanisms such as the previously publicised email address Bath-Uni.firstname.lastname@example.org can provide a real time understanding of issues as they emerge and a way for our community to raise any concerns direct with the service provider or comment on individual experiences.
Of course, the start of term is always extremely busy and we would always advise our student and staff community to leave extra time for journeys in the first few weeks of the year. We will be working with the SU and First Bus to monitor the situation closely.
With best wishes,
Steve Egan, Vice-President (Implementation)