Go-Ahead Group prepares to launch Bee Network buses in Manchester

Posted: 22 September 2023 | | No comments yet

The launch of Bee Network buses promises a more connected and efficient transport system for Greater Manchester residents and visitors, marking a significant step forward in the region’s public transportation infrastructure.

Go-Ahead Group prepares to launch Bee Network buses in Manchester

Credit: Go-Ahead Group

The Go-Ahead Group has announced that it is gearing up for the launch of Manchester’s first Bee Network buses, scheduled to hit the streets on 24 September 2023. These yellow-branded buses will inaugurate Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Bee Network, an integrated transportation system aimed at seamlessly connecting all modes of local transport across the region.

This ambitious undertaking has been a collaborative effort, with more than 1,000 dedicated colleagues from Go-Ahead’s Go North West operating company working tirelessly to prepare for the launch. The preparations, which have been underway for the past 10 months since Go North West had been awarded the contract by TfGM, include transitioning two depots from outgoing operators, swapping out buses and training new drivers to ensure a smooth transition.

Over the next 18 months, Bee Network buses will gradually replace Manchester’s six existing bus brands, creating a unified and interconnected network for passengers. This weekend marks the commencement of the first of three phases in which buses throughout Greater Manchester will adopt the distinctive yellow branding, eventually phasing out the liveries of legacy bus companies.

Greater Manchester introduces cheaper and integrated Bee Network fares

Of the fleet serving Bolton and Wigan, 50 buses are zero-emission electric vehicles, aligning with sustainability goals and all buses are fully accessible. These modern vehicles are equipped with passenger information screens, wheelchair-friendly features, CCTV for security and two-way radios.

Despite the exciting changes underway, ticket prices will remain affordable for passengers, with adult fares remaining at £2 and child fares at £1.

Nigel Featham, Managing Director of Go North West, said: “It’s all change for Manchester’s buses, and we have a team of over 1,000 people ready to go this weekend. We’ve been working around the clock for months on a mammoth operation – every vehicle, every depot, and every driver needs to be ready. We are determined to deliver world-class public transport for a world-class city. Go-Ahead is proud to be working with the Mayor and with Transport for Greater Manchester over this exciting changeover weekend.”