Transport For Greater Manchester has confirmed a number of changes to the city centre’s free bus service will take place this month, including the addition of new destinations to the service.
With the existing contract coming to an end TFGM and Manchester City Council have also confirmed that funding of the service will continue for the ‘foreseeable future’.
The free service was initially introduced in parts of the city that were not served by public transport, connecting key destinations including visitor and retail attractions.
To enable the continued running of the free bus, a revised service will now be rolled out which TFGM says ‘better reflects current demand’ and will include two new routes and timetables.
Both routes will operate from 7am to 7.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 6.30pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
The routes will allow passengers to travel from Piccadilly to new destinations including HOME and Deansgate Locks, while maintaining links to Deansgate and Victoria rail stations, Spinningfields, Chinatown and the Science and Industry Museum.
Stephen Rhodes, TfGM’s Director of Bus, said: “The free bus has been a staple of Manchester city centre’s transport network since it was first introduced as Metroshuttle more than 20 years ago.
“The service is provided by TfGM and Manchester City Council, and by delivering these changes we are keen to build on this partnership and continue delivering the service for years to come.”
During the main part of the day each service will run every 10 minutes, and will serve the following routes:
- free bus 1 will follow a clockwise loop from Piccadilly rail station to Deansgate rail station, then via MOSI, Spinningfields and Chinatown back to Piccadilly. This route will provide a link from Piccadilly to attractions at the bottom end of Deansgate, such as MOSI and HOME, while maintaining links between Piccadilly and Spinningfields
- free bus 2 will follow a clockwise loop from Piccadilly rail station to Chinatown, King Street, St Marys Gate, Victoria rail station and Shudehill, then back to Piccadilly. This route will provide a link from Piccadilly to the shopping areas of King Street, Market Street and Deansgate.
Neil Fairlamb, Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council said: “The free bus services around Manchester are a vital asset for many of our residents, one which we are glad to continue funding alongside our partners at TfGM.
“We know that public transport is the better, more environmentally friendly way to travel and we hope that for many more years to come people will take advantage of this shuttle service.”
For more information about the new Free Bus routes and timetables, click here.