Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Transdev SB1

You may recall that the first post on this blog was a review of a new route; Trent Barton’s ‘Zoom’. Having returned to York, and with a  new service having started at the bottom of my term-time road, now seemed like a good opportunity to review that too. Plus, this week is the University’s fresher’s week, and as a second year helping them to settle in, I get a free bus pass. Even better.

My pass entitles me to travel on a number of services, including the new SB1

The service I refer to is Transdev’s SB1. This service links both of the University’s campuses with Hull Road and the Foss Islands retail park every half hour. I can only presume that the service is partly funded by the university, certainly those living in ‘The Boulevard’ have been given free bus passes by the University to compensate for the position they’ve been put in so there is an element of funding there.

With a million and one things to think about, after a busy day I arrived home and realised that I had forgotten to visit my department. So, I decided to head for the SB1. After a lot of waiting and ringing Transdev York’s office several times (without any answer) I decided to give up and walk. Not a great first impression at all!
I’d love to say I had more luck on the journey home but this was not to be. Having picked up a timetable for the 44, which includes the SB1 timetable, it read that a bus was due to leave the stop closest to me at 15:32, ten minutes time.

I arrived at the stop and saw a Transdev Harrogate (bit lost?) branded Plaxton President with the display reading “private charter” with “SB1” written on a piece of A4 on the window- not much use for a new service! From what I could tell the bus was neatly presented, it had clearly been reupholstered more recently than its sisters on the 44 and didn’t look like a 13 year old bus.

Sadly, I didn’t get a much closer look. The driver could clearly see me waiting for the service but didn’t let me on and as the departure time approached I tried Transdev’s office again. This time, thankfully, they did pick me up, only to tell me that there was a typo on the timetable (which will have been handed out to thousands of students over the past few days) and that there was a gap in the service and as such there was no service at 15:32.

The timetable makes no mention of a 1 hour gap in service

So, not a very flattering review of this service at all. Whilst, granted, having not been able to travel on it, I cannot fully evaluate it; it does seem to have a number of serious flaws. Hopefully Transdev will be able to improve this service in the future, as if it is reliable then it would be a very useful service for me. Here’s hoping for some real improvement on the SB1.

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