First Bus announce withdrawal of night bus services in Glasgow

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The bus services in Glasgow are set to be withdrawn at the end of July

After just a year of being in operation once again, First Bus have announced that they will be withdrawing their fleet of night bus services in Glasgow from July 31.

The services have long been an alternative and cheaper option to jumping in a taxi after a late night out in town but First Bus have revealed that after trying to promote the services which included offering free tickets in December last year, passenger numbers on the buses remained between 30% and 35% which equates to around 14 passengers per hour which wasn’t sustainable for the company.

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Significant losses have been faced by the company with the changes set to impact 11 routes across the city in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings with all drivers being redeployed to the daytime network where passenger recovery is strong. Night bus services in Glasgow covered travel from the city centre to surrounding areas such as Clydebank, Paisley, Newton Mearns, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell and Wishaw.

Commerical Director at First Bus Scotland, Graeme Macfarlan said: “We were delighted to be able to reintroduce our night bus network last June in an attempt to support the city’s night-time economy. Despite a wide variety of efforts by First Glasgow and partner organisations to increase the number of people using the night buses, it has not reached the level required to sustain these services beyond July. To do so, we would require the number of people using them each weekend to treble overnight, which is not realistic.

“We really wanted to give these services every chance to succeed which is why we have absorbed the operating losses for the last 12 months. It has become clear, however, given the change in behaviour and times people are going out in the city at the weekend, there is not enough appetite in Glasgow for night bus services to successfully operate into the early hours.”

The night bus services were reintroduced in June 2022 to help boost the night-time economy in the city as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted but will soon no longer be in operation.

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