POOLE Mayor Cllr Xena Dion has helped launch Yellow Buses’ colourful new network.
The borough’s first citizen stepped aboard Yellow Buses’ award-winning Gallery Bus, featuring artwork from local people, to mark the launch.
The bus company has introduced eight colour coded lines through Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset.
The new lines are called Bourne, Priory, Uni, Royal, Village, Coast, Dolphin and Heath – reflecting its strong local connectivity and sense of community.
The new routes operating on each line will be denoted by the first letter of the name – e.g ‘B’ (for Bourne) followed by the service number such as 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Poole services operated by Yellow Buses include the Royal Line routes R1 and R2, which now provide a direct service between Poole and Royal Bournemouth Hospital (previously known as 1b and 1c) and the Dolphin Line route 20.
The new network will focus on key hubs, including the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Bournemouth University, while offering new off-peak connections.
To make it easier for passengers the new route map resembles the iconic London Underground map.
The new network is designed to reflect the changing life and work patterns of passengers as well as simplifying the routes and addressing congestion.
Extra early morning and late night services have been introduced on some routes to help shift workers at locations such as Bournemouth town centre, Poole town centre and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
Journey times have also being revised on several routes in order to improve punctuality and reliability, while bus frequencies and timings are being simplified to help customers.
Poole Mayor Cllr Xena Dion said: “Good public transport connections between Poole, Bournemouth and other parts of the conurbation are so important.
“I wish Yellow Buses every success with their new network.”
Commenting specifically on the Gallery Bus, Cllr Dion said she was looking forward to viewing the company’s Poetry Bus which features the work of local poets.
She added: “I think these themed buses are absolutely brilliant and genuinely inspiring.
“They really do bring arts into the heart of the community and will bring a great deal of pleasure to travellers. I’ve been really impressed by the marketing.”
Andrew Smith, Managing Director, said: “We have spent a long time speaking with passengers and analysing data in order to make the changes work for everyone.
“Yellow Buses in one form or another has proudly served Bournemouth and the surrounding area for 114 years, but the needs and requirements of our passengers are constantly changing.
“Our new network highlights that unique local bond with the introduction of an even more customer orientated service using route names which reflect the area served.
“It’s a network designed for the needs of our customers in 2017 and we believe it will prove very popular.”
Yellow Buses operates a fleet of 131 buses and 18 coaches with a staff of 414.
Its vehicles cover nearly five million miles a year across the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset area.
Yellow Buses is part of RATP Group, the world’s fifth largest public transport provider.