New bus ticket allows passengers to travel across West
BUS users in the Bristol area can now use a new ticket to make unlimited journeys in and around the city.
A dozen bus operators across the region have come together to launch the AvonRider, which allows people to hop from bus to bus for a fixed price.
The ticket can be bought from drivers on most of the services offered by First, Wessex, Abus, Bath Bus Company, Bakers-Dolphin, CT Coaches, Crosville Motor Services, Faresaver, North Somerset Coaches, Severnside Transport, Somerbus and Webber Bus.
It is valid for travel on the majority of routes covering Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.
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Terms: Bristol and Bath areas.
Contact: 0117 2448240
Valid until: Monday, May 20 2013
The adult AvonRider ticket is currently on an introductory offer of £7.20, but will rise to £7.50.
Children's and student prices will also be introduced once the travelcard is established.
John Burch, spokesman for the West of England Bus Operators' Association, the organisation behind the roll-out of the new ticket, said: "The development of this multi-operator travelcard is significant. It is something that the operators have worked on together for the benefit of customers.
"It will mean that a customer can travel throughout the entire West of England region, using multiple different operators' services for one set price.
"The travelcard can be bought on any of the operators' services making the process of getting one really simple for the customer.
"This will ultimately save customers time and money and make travelling by bus much easier for everyone."
Mr Burch said the tickets were mainly aimed at commuters who use more than one bus to get to and from work, often from different operators, and tourists in the region who may want to visit a number of attractions in a single day.
And he said the ticket would also help in the drive to get more people out of their cars and onto public transport.
Mr Burch added: "The idea is to get people out of their cars and see what's on offer on the region's buses.
"We have no idea how many people will buy the AvonRider tickets, but obviously we hope as many bus users as possible make use of them.
"If, for example, someone lives in Weston-super-Mare and gets a bus into Bristol every day, then changes to another bus for work, they can make considerable savings.
"We are also aiming for the people who have to drive into Bristol and park at a cost of £10 to £16 per day."
Talking of the changing face of public transport in the Bristol area, he added: "We felt that it's only right, therefore, that the operators should take the initiative to get this form of ticket developed."
As previously reported, local authorities and bus companies are working together to develop a "smartcard" swipe system, similar to that of the Oyster card in London.
Buses are becoming equipped with the technology and a pilot scheme is expected to launch in Bath later this year, which, if successful will roll out in Bristol either this year or in 2013.
It is anticipated that the AvonRider could also become electronic once the systems are in place.
Yesterday, double and single-decker buses from most of the AvonRider operators were lined up at First's depot on Easton Road, Bristol, to show their support for the scheme.
Smaller zones and different tariffs will also be developed over the coming months.
For each ticket, the operator from which the ticket is bought gets half of the money and the other half is put into a pool to cover the cost of the scheme and to be shared among the operators involved, dependent on the mileages.
It is hoped all bus operators in the region will eventually sign up.
To join, operators should contact John Burch on 07940 929881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.