Second Phase of Bee Network Launches in Greater Manchester

In the second phase of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Bee Network launch, bus services in Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Salford and north Manchester have now been brought under local control.

This move aims to provide passengers with better buses, more frequent, earlier, and later running services and better connections to other modes of transport.

In addition, the Bee Network offers improved customer information, including journey planning and bus tracking.

Bee Network rolled out in Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Salford and north Manchester
Bee Network rolled out in Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Salford and north Manchester

The transformation of Greater Manchester’s transport network comes 200 years after the city launched a first-of-a-kind horse bus service between Pendleton and Manchester in 1824. Now, the city continues to lead the way in revolutionising public transport through the return of locally controlled services.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:

“We have a great and pioneering history when it comes to transport, as the birthplace of buses and the modern railway, so it’s fitting to once again be leading the way by bringing buses back under local control.

“This truly is another historic moment for Greater Manchester, and I am absolutely delighted to see the Bee Network rolled out to Oldham, Rochdale and parts of Bury, Salford and north Manchester.”

The Bee Network is delivering an integrated London-style transport system in Greater Manchester. It launched on 24 September 2023, with the implementation of the first phase of bus franchising across Wigan, Bolton and parts of Bury and Salford.

To date, weekly reports have shown that Bee Network bus services are more reliable than those offered before the franchising and are outperforming services elsewhere in Greater Manchester. What’s more, the number of people using Bee Network services has also increased.

Since its launch, 50 new zero-emission buses have also been rolled out on the network, with more set to launch imminently and around 120 others due in January 2025.

Mayor Burnham added:

“If you look at how Bee Network services are performing compared to before or the rest of the network then the proof really is in the pudding.

“It’s clear from the performance data we’re getting and the growing numbers of people using the Bee Network that we’re making a real difference, but we are by no means complacent – in fact quite the opposite. As we start this next exciting phase and look ahead to all buses coming under local control, I want to be clear that we want things to be better still and have an unwavering focus to deliver a Bee Network that works for you.”

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