Thursday, 22 October 2015

First fares fall as Bluestar 17 begins

First have pulled out the big guns ahead of Bluestar 17's launch this Sunday, by cutting most of their fares within Southampton. This is how they're trailing the move on the front page of their website:

A bold move or a last gasp? When the 17 launches that will leave most of First's potential passengers with a Bluestar alternative, so First had to do something in order keep Sotonians' bums on their seats.

As a comparison, FirstDay Southampton's new price at £3.50 is 20p less than Bluestar/Unilink's Southampton Dayrider at £3.70.

Here's a quick comparison of the route networks each ticket is valid on. Here's First's current route network in our city:

A big gap in the middle there. Here's the Bluestar/Unilink network in the city before this Sunday's launch of Bluestar 17, which will add new links to/from the General Hosiptal:

See full details of Bluestar 17 here.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

First E1/E2 timetable fiasco

First have issued a news item on their website about the E1 and E2, which transfer to them from Wheelers from next Monday.

And it has several inaccuracies...

Inaccuracy 1: "The first three E1 morning journeys an will start from Portswood Broadway". A look at the timetable reveals that only the first two journeys will start from Portswood. Whoever wrote the news item didn't notice that one journey (the 0723) is marked schooldays only and the other (0733) runs on school holidays and Saturdays only.

Inaccuracy 2: "The last E1 afternoon journey will also return to Portswood Broadway". While technically true, this doesn't give the full picture. The last two buses continue to Portswood, one of which is an E1 and one of which is an E2.

Inaccuracy 3: The timetables on First's website still incorrectly show most northbound journeys as starting from Boyatt Wood when they actually start from Eastleigh Bus Station.

Here are the accurate timetables, courtesy of Traveline:

Thursday, 1 October 2015

First E1/E2 timetable blunder

First have published the timetables for their version of the E1 and E2 between Eastleigh and Winchester, which they take over from Wheelers as of 12th October.

See the weekday timetable here and the Saturday timetable here.

Smiler52 commenting on the previous post points out that most northbound journeys appear to start from Boyatt Wood rather than Eastleigh:

Well spotted! On closer inspection, the line for Eastleigh Bus Station is marked 'arr' for arrivals, so will only include those journeys coming through from Portswood. All other journeys will indeed start from Eastleigh Bus Station at the same times as the current Wheelers service does (4 mins before the time shown for The Arrow), with the exception of the last journey of the day in each direction, which is axed:

  • 1805 E2 Eastleigh to Winchester - axed
  • 1850 E1 Winchester to Eastleigh - axed

The last bus from Eastleigh to Winchester will be the E1 at 1705 and coming back the last bus will be the E2 at 1800 from Winchester, which will run through to Portswood. All times mentioned are Mon-Sats only.

Traveline has the maps for First's service, but not yet the timetables - clicking on the links for them just shows the current Wheelers service. Traveline's maps however say that First will be terminating on Broadway in Winchester rather then the bus station. First's timetables say Winchester Bus Station. Hopefully this can be clarified before First take over.