Bus services provide the most effective and efficient form of motorised road transport. Many people rely on the bus to travel. It also it provides an alternative to travelling by private car and contributes significantly to reducing congestion on the region’s road network.
A key strand of the Regional Transport Strategy is to improve bus services throughout the north east, to encourage modal shift and thereby reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, improve accessibility and utilise road space more effectively.
Nestrans works with local authorities and bus operators to deliver improvements to bus provision. We want a bus network that meets the needs of a range of journeys across the region. This includes travel to work, education, retail, leisure, health and well-being and tourism.
North East Bus Alliance
The North East Bus Alliance was established in 2018 and is a voluntary Quality Partnership Agreement between Nestrans, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, First in Aberdeen, Stagecoach Bluebird and Bains Coaches.
The overarching objectives of this agreement are to:
1. Arrest decline in bus patronage in the North East of Scotland by 2022; and
2. Achieve year on year growth in bus patronage to 2025.
Together, Bus Alliance partners want to deliver improvements for bus
passengers across the region through the development and delivery of a region-wide Bus Action Plan.
Actions within the plan will be progressed through the Bus Alliance Executive. Minutes from the Bus Alliance Board meetings are reported to the Nestrans Board.
Nestrans work to address issues around the affordability of transport. This is to ensure that transport poverty is minimised as far as is possible and priority groups have access to reasonably priced travel options.
We work with transport operators to expand the availability of fares capping technology and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) measures to ensure the best value fare is available for all journeys.
We also work with our partners to promote concessionary fares schemes, such as GrassHOPPER Pass. This is a multi-operator ticket allowing bus passengers to purchase one ticket for travel on services run by different operators. The GrassHOPPER Pass is a partnership led by local bus operators and administered by Aberdeenshire Council. The partnership is also supported by Aberdeen City Council and Nestrans.
We also lobby to address anomalies in fares structures that create inequalities.
It is also important that we enhance local public transport services and active travel networks by focussing on connecting communities and removing some of the barriers to accessing transport faced by those on lower incomes.