Passengers have made an extra 740,000 bus journeys around Sheffield since the launch of a new partnership designed to improve services.
Total passenger journeys have gone up from 86.03 million to 86.77 million in the 18 months since the start of the Sheffield Bus Partnership.
The number of fare-paying passengers has gone up by almost 10 per cent in the same time period – from 48.65 million to 53.3 million.
But the number of young and elderly people travelling with concessions has dropped – something attributed to an increase in the child concessionary fare and Government changes to the national scheme for free off-peak journeys for senior citizens.
Sheffield Bus Partnership was set up in October 2012 between South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Sheffield Council and bus operators.
It aims to make the city’s bus network more reliable and convenient, with fewer changes to routes and timetables.
A new report on the partnership’s work in its first 18 months said there have been improvements in the punctuality and reliability of services, with the number of complaints dropping.
An official said there has been a turnaround of the ‘historic decline of bus use over nearly three decades’ in Sheffield.
SYPTE deputy interim director general David Young said: “We are delighted that more and more people are coming back to travel on the city’s buses.”
Bus users in Sheffield praised the city’s services today. Nel Shallow said: “I take the bus many times each week - I’m very happy with the services, the friendliness and the chatty passengers.”
Danny Lorimer, aged 23, a student at The University of Sheffield, said: “It is a cheap, regular and convenient service. I can’t imagine why you would need a car in Sheffield.”
But Rob Dunbar, 24, said: “There should be more hybrid buses. They’re better for the environment.”