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13 million birthday milestone for most successful metrobus

Bristol’s metrobus network has carried almost 25 million passengers since it launched, with its most popular route celebrating its fifth birthday at the weekend.

The m1 (Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove Park) was launched on 6th January 2019, and since then has carried more than 13 million passengers, with customer numbers growing by almost 30 per cent since it launched.

It now makes the m1 the West of England’s most popular service, followed by services 75 (Hengrove to Cribbs Causeway) and 76 (Hengrove to Henbury).

Across the entire metrobus network, which includes four routes, the metrobus’ average reliability since it launched remains high, with 98.3 per cent of bus trips taking place in full, and the remaining 1.73 cancelled or reduced for a number of reasons, including driver and vehicle issues.

And the latest figures on punctuality* across all the metrobus services shows that 90 per cent of buses ran on time in the past 12 months - above the average figure for England at 80 per cent (non-frequent services), according to the government’s latest figures.

First West of England’s Special Projects Manager, Alex Bain, said: “These figures are great news for the bus network in Bristol, and prove what a success story the metrobus network is.

“To have the m1 as the West of England’s most popular service, passenger numbers on the others continuing to increase, and so few services cancelled or cut short, is testament to the great work of our colleagues and drivers, which is encouraging more customers to choose the metrobus.”

The success of the metrobus network has been thanks to partnership working between First West of England, the West of England Combined Authority, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council, which have led improvements to access for buses including dedicated road lanes and new infrastructure.

West of England Metro Mayor, Dan Norris, said: “Happy fifth birthday to the m1. It just goes to show that the more people use the buses, the more likely they are to be sustainable long term. Plus, that’s vital in terms of cutting congestion and pollution.

“I also urge those with February birthdays and beyond, to please, please sign up to Birthday Buses so you can enjoy a month of free bus travel, and hopefully go on to use buses in the future. Head to, and get applying, today!”

To mark the m1’s fifth birthday, First West of England is giving a lucky customer the chance to win a year’s free bus travel in Bristol. All you need to is enter your details into the free prize draw on the bus operator’s website.

Notes to editors

The metrobus network includes four routes: m1 (Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove Park), m2 (Long Ashton Park and Ride to city centre), m3/m3x (Emersons Green to city centre) and m4 (Cribbs Causeway to city centre).

Read more about the metrobus network in Bristol.

* The bus industry defines an on-time bus as arriving between one minute early and 5 minutes, 59 seconds late to accommodate unexpected delays.