Jersey bus use approaches pre-Covid levels as five million passengers travel in 2023

libertybus double decker on the Five Mile Road Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37787882)

MORE than five million bus journeys were made in Jersey last year, with usage coming close to matching pre-Covid levels, new figures have shown.

A total of 5.01 million passengers were carried by LibertyBus during 2023 – just 30,000 shy of the 2019 figure of 5.04m.

The operator, which has run the Island’s buses since 2013, heralded an “excellent growth in ridership” and said this had stemmed from efforts to continually monitor feedback from passengers and make improvements to services.

Company director Kevin Hart said that some UK operators were “shouting from the rooftops” after passenger numbers recovered to 90% of pre-pandemic levels. The comparative Jersey figure was 99.4%.

While commuters accounted for 31% of total passenger journeys, with a reduction caused by higher levels of home working, Mr Hart said leisure travel had grown to 37%. There had also been a significant increase in student numbers since the introduction of a fixed £20 annual fare, he added.

“We are immensely proud to witness such excellent growth in ridership,” he said. “We’re always reviewing levels of usage and looking to provide more options where we can, including extra services on Sundays and during the evenings.

“We are doing everything we can to stem the amount of traffic on the roads, and will introduce more commuter services if necessary.”

Infrastructure Minister Andy Jehan, said: “It’s brilliant news to see the number of Islanders taking the bus has returned to pre-Covid levels, despite more of our working population now working from home.

“As someone who uses the bus, I have seen for myself the increased numbers on the buses, and we continue to work closely with LibertyBus to ensure that public transport is serving Islanders.”

Senior management from Lothian Buses in Scotland recently heralded the “strong performance” during 2023 in trade media outlet Route One. This saw 110m passenger journeys made last year, compared with 124m in 2019.

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