First Aberdeen launches future of bus travel
Posted: 14 November 2013 | First Group | No comments yet
In a blaze of glory First Aberdeen, unveiled the future of bus travel in the city, ‘Platinum’…
In a blaze of glory, local bus operator, First Aberdeen, today unveiled the future of bus travel in the city, ‘Platinum’.
Customers on Service 19, from Monday (November 18), are set to benefit from the most radical and innovative improvements to a local bus service in Scotland. First Aberdeen has improved almost every single aspect of bus travel – Director and General Manager of First Aberdeen, Duncan Cameron, predicted that First Aberdeen’s Platinum service will “revolutionise” local bus services in Scotland.
First Aberdeen has completely refurbished the exterior and interior of 12 of its buses and improved almost every other aspect associated with the journey:
- Buses on the route have been completely refurbished and now feature a stunning, sleek exterior with Platinum branding.
- Inside the buses customers will benefit from:
- TV screens featuring 24 hour news updates,
- leather seats,
- complementary wifi,
- new interior vinyls behind the driver’s cab and on the stairwell providing improved service information.
- 50 of First’s best drivers will receive enhanced customer service training and will operate on the Service 19 route.
- The company has introduced a no quibble guarantee which will enable customers to claim a free journey should they be unhappy with any aspect of the service.
- From today (November 14) Service 19 customers can access a dedicated Platinum website which features specific travel information, ticket information, latest news and maps. www.firstgroup.com/platinum.
- First has reduced the cost of its off peak adult day tickets across its network, including Platinum – from November 18 until December 22, Day Tickets will cost just £4.
“The introduction of Platinum demonstrates just how determined we are to improve bus services and attract more passengers,” said Duncan Cameron, Director and General Manager of First Aberdeen. “We are absolutely committed to increasing passenger numbers and encouraging more people out of their cars and onto our buses.
“I’m exceptionally proud of what we’ve achieved in delivering Platinum. But the real hard work starts from Monday, when the buses go into service.
“Bus operators across the country will be watching Platinum very closely – its introduction is an industry leading initiative and one that could revolutionise local bus services across Scotland.”
Duncan explained that the company has plans to introduce similar Platinum style improvements to other routes: “In the last 18 months we’ve worked incredibly hard to improve our services. We’ve invested in brand new buses, improved our reliability, introduced better value for money fares and a host of other initiatives designed to make our services more attractive. Platinum eclipses all of that.
“Going forward I can assure our customers that we will continue to invest in our services and make bus travel better. I’m confident that in the future we’ll be able to launch Platinum style services in other parts of the network.”
First Aberdeen has invested more than £300k in Platinum. The company is about to launch the biggest marketing campaign in recent years to help promote the new services.
Platinum buses will operate on Service 19, which links Tillydrone with the city centre and Culter, from 5.30am on Monday, 18 November.
The introduction of Platinum is the highlight of a range of initiatives and investments that First Aberdeen has put in place to improve bus travel for its customers:
- First has invested £3.5million in 23 brand new buses this year. The new vehicles, which are fitted with leather seats and complementary wi-fi, entered service on July 1.
- First Aberdeen’s punctuality and reliability performance has never been better with 95% of all services leaving their terminus on time.
- The company is in the middle of a fleet refresh programme which is improving the exterior of all its buses and the interiors of many of its buses.
- In its most recent fares review (March 2013) First held in price or reduced the majority of its ticket types.
- The company has run a number of promotions on various routes within its network in recent months and in October permanently reduced its Family Weekend Day ticket by 25%.
- First launched a network wide ‘Customer Promise’ whereby passengers can claim a free travel voucher if they are unhappy with any aspect of the service (within First’s control).
- First Aberdeen has secured the services of eight regular customers to form a Customer Panel to provide mystery shopper evaluations on its bus services.