A fleet of new buses is set to arrive in Doncaster thanks to a £3 million improvement scheme.
A total of 14 vehicles are being rolled out across the borough after local bus operator First South Yorkshire invested nearly £3m as part of the newly-formed Doncaster Bus Partnership.
The new Wrightbus StreetLite vehicles have been unveiled in the town centre after operators signed up to the new partnership.
They are being brought in as part of a scheme to try to halt a seven per cent slide in passenger numbers last year.
A Doncaster Bus Intelligence report issued by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive said the fall was down to a decline in fare-paying passengers.
Commuters in Doncaster were ditching the bus more quickly than the rest of the region for heading to and from work and had the lowest bus satisfaction levels.
Sheffield’s bus partnership agreement has involved its old buses being sent to Doncaster to aid targets.
The new, low-carbon emission-compliant buses produce 95 per cent less oxides of nitrogen emissions compared to some older buses and as a result will help improve air quality across the borough, say bosses.
The new buses will principally operate on the Rossington 55/56 services but will also be serving customers on routes across Doncaster.
The Doncaster Bus Partnership – a voluntary agreement between First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach, Arriva, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Doncaster Council – is also introducing a revised bus network alongside new, lower-priced multi-operator tickets after public consultation last year.
This latest investment coincides with the new network launch and follows a recent investment of £7m in newer and more environmentally-friendly buses by Stagecoach on services running to and through the Dearne Valley and First South Yorkshire on the X78.
Daryll Broadhead, operations manager for First Doncaster, said the investment will encourage more customers across Doncaster to use the bus.
He said: “This is great news for customers. By working together in partnership we are delivering an improved network, cheaper multi-operator tickets and new low-emission buses.”