Friday 26 April 2019

12 things you never knew about Gloucestershire's largest bus company

Celebrating 25 years in business throughout 2019, Stagecoach West is Gloucestershire’s largest bus company.

Stagecoach has been transporting customers around the county since 1993. But much has changed over the last 26 years, from driver training, through to a new hi-tech fleet of buses.

Join SoGlos as we uncover 12 fun facts you might not know about Gloucestershire’s biggest bus company.

About the sponsor

Operating around the south west for a quarter of a decade, Stagecoach West is proud of its heritage, but even more so its progression over the last 25 years.

Now offering a more eco-friendly fleet, better customer service and high-tech additions for its customers, getting the bus has never been so luxurious.

For more information see directly.

1. Driving to the moon

In the 25 years that Stagecoach has been operating, passenger journeys have clocked up enough journeys to get to the moon and back twice!

Here in Gloucestershire the firm runs four Park & Ride services and has 80 Gold buses in its fleet, perfect for clocking up a few more missions to the moon.

2. Transport to Cheltenham

During the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, Stagecoach buses transported 90,000 people to Prestbury Park to enjoy the racing action.

That’s enough to fill the Gloucester Rugby stadium at Kingsholm more than five times over!

3. Transporting millions

Over the last 25 years, Stagecoach West has transported 509 million passengers all over the south west.

That’s more than the population of the entire European Union!

4. Training for the test

Bus drivers at Stagecoach go through a rigorous training process before they’re let loose on the county’s roads.

On average, it takes around 55 hours of practical training for a driver to pass their test.

That’s long enough to watch Titanic 17 times!

5. Eco-friendly

Taking the bus is one of the things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint, but Stagecoach has made huge improvements to its fleet to make its emissions less harmful too.

In comparison to the buses in Stagecoach’s early years, buses now emit 70 per cent less carbon dioxide, 95 per cent less nitrogen oxide, and has also reduced its particle pollution by 99.95 per cent.

6. Getting online

It now seems quite normal to be able to take advantage of free Wifi in most public places, but Stagecoach west has now introduced free wifi to many of its buses.

It means you don’t have to stop watching your favourite box set during your commute, or maybe gives you the option to finish off homework on the bus with some last-minute research – courtesy of Stagecoach!

7. Helping people to get by

There have been some big changes to Stagecoach between 1993 and 2019. One of which was the introduction of discounted bus travel for job seekers.

Elderly and disabled passengers are also given free bus travel.

8. Buying online

Almost 40 per centre of customers buy their weekly Megarider ticket online or on the Stagecoach bus app, which equates to 50,000 journeys every week.

But if you’d prefer to buy on the bus, Stagecoach has now equipped its fleet with contactless payment machines, so there’s no longer any need to root around for change for the fare!

9. Driver feedback

Stagecoach’s buses are equipped with instant feedback to its drivers on their driving style, and how they can change their driving habits to deliver a smoother ride and make journey’s more fuel efficient.

The buses themselves are also far more sophisticated with better braking systems and suspension than in comparison to Stagecoach’s original fleet in 1993.

10. Employing Gloucestershire

When it launched, Stagecoach West had a fleet of 200 buses and employed 500 staff. Since then the fleet has grown by a massive 85 per cent, and has increased its staff by 60 per cent.

Keeping local people in employment all over Gloucestershire.

11. Pay by phone

As well as its contactless card readers, Stagecoach buses can now accept Apple Pay and Google Pay, so it’s even easier to hop on the bus.

The contactless system works in the same was a contactless card, which is a great solution if you’ve forgotten your wallet, and need to get around Gloucestershire.

12. The Be Nice Bus

Stagecoach bus driver Simon Crumpler from Gloucester, spent two years with the Princess Diana Trust driving the Stagecoach ‘Be Nice Bus.’

Designed to help reduce bullying in schools, he won ‘Driver of the Year 2017-18’ for his sheer volume of customer commendations; and raised £3,000 for charity in December 2018 by donning his Santa suit and giving presents to children across the county as part of the Santa Bus.

© SoGlos
Friday 12 April 2019

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