Q. What is metrobus and how is it different to other bus services?
metrobus is an express bus service for the greater Bristol area, which sits between regular bus services and the rail network.
- Boarding times are up to five times faster due to being a buy-before-you-board and cashless service.
- Journey times are faster due to limited stopping as well as full segregation from other traffic along parts of the network.
- Stops are easy to identify and easy to use thanks to distinctive branding and the iPoint, which allows passengers to purchase tickets, plan a journey and view real time running information for all services that call at the stop.
- Buses are are modern, comfortable and accessible thanks to free on-board WiFi, USB charging ports, air-conditioning and front and rear doors.
Q. Who operates metrobus?
metrobus is run by two operators:
The m1 is operated by Bristol Community Transport, under contract to First Bus
They are Bristol’s largest community transport operator and a part of the HCT Group, a leading transport social enterprise, which operates major transport contracts in London, Jersey, Guernsey and Leeds.
60 new driver and support jobs have been created at their Bedminster depot for the running of the m1 metrobus service.
The social enterprise company is also investing £7 million in a fleet of 21 biogas buses for the m1 metrobus service. The buses are carbon neutral and run on gas generated from food waste.
As a social enterprise, they reinvest the profits from their commercial work into further transport services or projects in the communities they serve.
BCT already runs four bus routes for Bristol City Council and also provides low-cost, accessible minibuses for community groups, sports clubs and charities. They run Bristol’s dial-a-ride service and community buses for older and disabled people, helping them to access shops and healthcare, social activities and family occasions.
120,000 people traveled on their Bristol services in 2017.
The m2, m3 and m3x are operated by First Bus
They are the largest bus operator in the West of England region, covering Bristol, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, and parts of west Wiltshire, Glastonbury, Street and Wells.
They operate around 600 buses and carry over 62 million passengers per year.
First are a large employer and investor in the region, operating from seven depots and employing approximately 1,800 people.
Since 2015 they have invested over £60 million in new vehicles and £10 million in Metrobus. They have one of the highest low emission fleets in the UK with over 140 low emission buses and have recently invested in a sizeable fleet of biomethane gas powered vehicles.
Q. Where does metrobus run and how does it link up with the rest of the transport network?
metrobus operates within an extensive network in Bristol, spread across three main routes which serve a number of key transport interchanges and points of interest:
- The m1 runs between Cribbs Causeway and Hengrove, via UWE and the city centre.
- The m2 runs between Long Ashton park and ride and the city centre, via Bristol Temple Meads rail station.
- The m3 runs between Emersons Green and the city centre, via Lyde Green Park and Ride and UWE.
For detailed route and timetable information, please visit the relevant metrobus service page under the ‘services’ tab.
Q. What tickets can I use on metrobus and how do I purchase them?
For detailed ticket information, please visit the tickets section of the metrobus website.
Q. Where can I find timetable and running information about each metrobus route?
You can find timetable information about each metrobus route in a number of ways:
- Pamphlets, which can be found at the Long Ashton park and ride site, Bristol bus station and the Bristol Tourist Information office.
- The TravelWest site, under the journey planner and live departure sections.
- This site, on the relevant metrobus service page under the ‘services’ tab, which contain downloadable timetables and route map PDFs.
You can find running information and travel updates about metrobus services by:
Q. Can I use my bus pass on metrobus?
English concessionary bus passes are accepted on all metrobus services.
There’s no need for a separate ticket, just present your pass to the driver as you do on a regular bus.
You can use your pass to travel on any metrobus service Monday to Friday from 9am until 4am the next day and anytime on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Q. How do I use the iPoint?
For detailed instructions on how to use the iPoint and how it can help you with your journey, please visit the iPoint section of this site.
Q. Does metrobus accommodate passengers with a disability or limited mobility?
Yes! All metrobus vehicles and stops are accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. Our buses have height-adjustable suspension and our bus stops have raised boarding platforms, for safe and easy boarding and exiting. In addition, the touch screens on all iPoints are placed at a height that makes them accessible to wheelchair users.
Some mobility scooters can be used on metrobus services, but it depends on their type, size and weight. Also, only one is permitted at any given time.
Before using any metrobus service, all mobility scooter users must first be assessed by First Bus to demonstrate competence in using a scooter on public transport and that the scooter itself is suitable. Once these have been demonstrated, a ‘permit for travel’ will be issued. For more information, please visit Mobility Scooters Code on First Bus’ website.
Q. I don't have a bank card / smartphone - can I still use metrobus?
Yes! You can either:
- Visit any participating shop displaying the ‘PayPoint’ sign and purchase a ticket with cash (your ticket will then be loaded onto a reusable TravelWest smartcard);
- Visit First’s Travel Shop at Bristol bus station and purchase a ticket with cash (for weekly, monthly and annual tickets).
A list of PayPoint stores can be found here.
Q. Where do I get a resuable TravelWest smartcard?
You will be provided with smartcard when you buy an appropriate ticket from an iPoint.
Smartcards are also available from First’s Travel Shop in the Bristol bus station, participating PayPoint stores and the TravelWest Travelcards website.
Q. I've left something on a metrobus service - how do I get it back?
If you’ve left something on a metrobus service, who you need to contact depends on which metrobus service you were travelling on:
- For the m1, please call 0117 922 2910, or email email@example.com
- For the m2, m3 or m3x, please call 0117 929 1613 (Mon – Fri 11:00 – 16:00)
When claiming lost property, you must supply a full description of the item, including its contents if applicable, and give details of where and when lost, in order to reasonably satisfy us that you are the rightful owner of the property.
All lost property found or handed in by drivers or company officials or by a third party is recorded, labelled and stored at the local lost property office. If the lost property is contained in a package, bag or other container, we may open it and examine it in order to trace the owner or identify the nature and value of the lost property.
Any lost property found on our vehicles, providing the item is not perishable will be kept for 1 month. All unclaimed property is donated to charity at the end of the calendar month following the one in which it was handed in. Perishable items, including but not limited to foodstuffs, and soiled items will be held for a maximum of 48 hours and if deemed necessary will be disposed of immediately.
Q. Is metrobus suitable for travel with prams and young children?
Yes! All metrobus vehicles and stops are accessible to users with prams and young children. Our buses have height-adjustable suspension and our bus stops have raised boarding platforms, for safe and easy boarding and exiting.
In addition, children up the last day of their fourth year travel free and children between the age of 5 and 15 pay half the fare of an adult. See the tickets section of the website for further information.
Q. Can I travel with a bike on metrobus?
Only folding bikes are permitted on metrobus services. Permission to board with a folding bike also depends on how busy the service is and whether the loading area for wheelchairs, prams and bikes is already in use.
All metrobus stops include a bike rack which can be used to secure larger bikes. Whilst some city centre bus stops do not have a bike rack on the actual stop, there is always one close by.
Q. Can I travel with a dog on metrobus?
This depends on whether the dog is a guide dog, or a pet:
- Guide dogs are permitted on all metrobus services.
- Small pet dogs may be allowed on-board, but this is down to the discretion of the bus driver.
Q. Is metrobus on social media?
Yes. You can follow metrobus on Twitter.
Q. Are there plans to expand the metrobus network in the future?
Work has started on a new route known as the Cribbs Patchway metrobus Extension (CPME) which is due to open in 2021.
Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and North Somerset Council are working with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and different bus operators to look at introducing more metrobus routes. See the Quality Partnership Scheme page on the TravelWest site for further information.