Perhaps in an effort to counter the painfully slow regulation of buses that was promised via devolution, yesterday all 18 commercial bus companies across Greater Manchester came together to launch OneBus at MediaCityUK.
It's basically a re-branding exercise for a new 'unified bus collective', and, OneBus states the "common goal is to provide efficient, accessible and reliable bus services for everyone in the area"...
The launch took place during Catch The Bus Week and OneBus chief executive Gary Nolan explained the raison d'être... "Bus travel literally drives Greater Manchester's economy, from commuters travelling to work every day, to shoppers fuelling High Streets across the county, so it's important that as collective operators we come together to ensure we are continually assessing and improving our performance across the board.
"To reflect this commitment externally, passengers and the general public will notice OneBus logos displayed on the circa 1,500 buses operating daily throughout Greater Manchester from this week onwards" he added "We're also pleased to have agreed as a group to offer passengers aged 16-18 years free travel this weekend to encourage bus travel and mark this special week."
Indeed, any holder of a Get Me There 16-18 Card will be able to travel free on buses this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 7th and 8th July.
Intriguingly, Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, who has pledged to regulate the bus service, was not at the launch, nor did he provide any supportive quotes. However, David Sidebottom, who is Transport User Director at Transport Focus and holds a position on the Mayoral transport board, backed the OneBus initiative...
"This can only be a positive move for passengers who will see the benefits of this partnership across the board on the factors that matter most to them from ticketing and pricing, to air quality, security and customer experience on-board" he said.