Bolton’s free town centre bus service will continue for another year.
A new bus operator, South Lancs Travel, will take over the running of the Bolton Metroshuttle service after successfully tendering for the contract.
The Metroshuttle, which is jointly funded by Bolton Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), started as a pilot scheme in 2008.
Council and transport leaders have agreed to extend the contract for the bus service for another year due to its continued success; it has clocked up 90,000 passenger journeys so far this year.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We are really pleased to announce that we are continuing the service. We know people use it as it offers free and easy access to many of the town centre’s key areas for shopping, leisure, travel, business and education.”
Passengers using the service next year will also travel on two environmentally friendly diesel-electric hybrid buses provided by TfGM.
Chair of the Bus Network and TfGM Services Sub Committee, Councillor Mark Aldred, said: “The Metroshuttle is an important part of Bolton’s public transport network. We are pleased to provide two environmentally friendly buses to run on the route, and I look forward to the new operator delivering the high quality of service passengers are already used to.”
Bus Network Officer for South Lancs Travel, Chris Almond, added: “We are pleased to be providing this service, which is invaluable to both residents and visitors to Bolton. It aims to reduce traffic congestion in the town and offers an improved shopping experience without the need to walk across the town centre with your shopping.”
Bolton Metroshuttle runs on a three mile circular route, covering a total 15 stops around the town centre in fifteen minutes. Passengers can get on a free bus from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm.