The appearance across West Yorkshire of cars daubed with the message ‘We’re through – I’m getting the bus’ has sparked intrigue from passers-by, with many people believing they had witnessed the aftermath of a break-up.
Cars appeared in central locations in Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and Keighley.
Bus18, the partnership behind the stunt, has said it is all in the name of Catch the Bus Week, a national initiative introduced four years ago to encourage more and more people to consider the bus as a travel option. Catch the Bus Week believes that if Britain harnessed the potential of the bus, it would make the economy stronger, improve air quality, help the job market work better and build a more inclusive society.
Bus18 is made up of the county’s three major bus companies, First West Yorkshire, Arriva Yorkshire and Transdev as well as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. They are all working together to further improve the customer experience and make travelling by bus a top choice for residents across the county. With one of their main pledges being to improve air quality across our towns and cities.
In 2017 a £23.5m investment was made by operators in new, low emission buses providing significant reductions in harmful pollutants and being 95% cleaner than some of the buses they replaced. Bus18 has also been awarded £2.4m from the Clean Bus Technology Fund 2018 and together with Leeds City Council they’ll retro fit 200 buses with emission reducing equipment – with a target of reducing nitrogen dioxide by 52 tonnes.
The Bus18 team are making improvements in many areas including information provision, relieving congestion hotspots and punctuality. They have also worked to improve the bus offer for young people across the county, helping them get to places of education and work. A travel anywhere, anytime day ticket for under 19s will be introduced this July priced at just £2.60. In addition, they no longer need to show a half-fare pass if they are wearing their school uniform, and under 16s will not need to apply for a pass at all from September 2018.
A Bus18 spokesperson said:
“We wanted to do something that would truly capture the imagination and really create a buzz around making the bus a first-choice option for West Yorkshire. At Bus18 we’re not asking car users to make every journey by bus, just one or two. We can really help improve our environment if we consider the bus for some of our weekly journeys over the car. The Bus18 team is making big improvements to bus travel across the region. It’s great to be supporting Catch the Bus Week, and we believe there’s never been a better time to leave the car at home and catch the bus!”