Xplore Dundee’s bus network is evolving in the New Year. Simpler routes and new technology are set to be introduced in January 2021 to transform the city’s public transport system.
A comprehensive set of route changes will be implemented, and a new app will also be introduced to help customers plan and pay for their journeys. The bus operator’s also confirmed a fares freeze for next year.
Managing Director Christine McGlasson said: “We know that people in Dundee will be travelling differently in a post-pandemic world so we’ve taken this opportunity, during an unprecedented time of transition, to re-think and rebuild the bus network. We’ve gone back to the drawing board, keeping passengers at the heart of our decision-making. We’ve come up with simpler routes, retaining good frequency and ensuring that the vast majority of households in the city are still within five minutes of their nearest bus stop.
“It’s the biggest set of changes our bus network has undergone since the 1950s when the core routes were first set up. Since then, many adjustments have been made over the years - routes have been extended and altered to accommodate new housing developments, workplaces or roads. By taking a fresh look at the network under these current circumstances, we are able to breathe new life into an old system and we hope our customers will join us on this journey into a new year and a new network.”
The network changes will be implemented from Sunday 24th January. The new app will also be launched around the same time. Using the latest software, it will act as a one-stop shop, allowing passengers to plan their journey, buy their tickets and track their bus in real time on the map.
With physical distancing expected to stay in place for some time to come, a key feature of the app will enable customers to see how busy a bus is before it approaches. This will make it easier for people to plan their journeys in advance so that they can travel in safety and comfort.
Christine McGlasson said: ”With extra tools and more reliable timetables, we hope that customers will be able to adjust quickly to the network changes. Simpler routes offer a streamlined service, so that buses can still run as often as possible. We’re also looking forward to some bus priority measures being introduced soon by Dundee City Council, which should ensure better movement of vehicles through key areas of congestion in the city centre, retaining some of the faster journey speeds we’ve experienced in recent months.
“We’ve taken a very close look at how we should do things differently. We acknowledge it’s extremely likely, even once restrictions are lifted, that there won't be as many people travelling on our buses as there were before. This means it will be harder to cover the basic costs of paying wages, maintaining vehicles and buying fuel. That's why it’s so important for Xplore Dundee to evolve now, planning for a future where we expect to carry fewer passengers but can still maintain a frequent, reliable network of buses for the whole of the city. We hope that a faster, simpler network, with safety measures still firmly in place, will mean customers can be confident that bus travel is still the best way to get around Dundee.”
The full details of the network changes are outlined in the document ‘Our Plan for Your New Network’ which is available for download at the Xplore Dundee website or hard copies can be picked up at the Travel Centre in Commercial Street.