Exploring a better future for buses in Dundee

1 month ago Mon 8th Jan 2024

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In 2024, we will continue our journey to build a better Xplore Dundee - not just as an employer, but as your local service provider too.

This is our third progress update on our plans, the majority of which is being launched during what we have called our Project Boost programme. Our aim is to  make buses better and attract more people of Dundee back on board. 

Here’s where things are up to at the moment: 

  • We have carried out three different trials of new electric double deck bus models. These advanced vehicles spent at least two weeks on route 28 and other services across the network too. The Volvo, Wrightbus and Yutong buses all had strengths and weaknesses, and we are now examining the customer and colleague feedback before we make any further investment decisions. Thanks to all of you who got in touch with your comments. 

 

  • Our journey to reduce emissions across the fleet continues. The six newer, dedicated double-deck buses are now in operation on the 1 to St Marys, along with five similar buses dedicated to the 32 and 33, are all to Euro VI standard, with 96% less NOx pollutants than the vehicles they replace.

 

  • We have seen a more consistent approach to how we plan and allocate our double-deck and single-deck buses, which is giving customers more space on board when they need it. 

 

  • We have begun improvements to our shop at Commercial Street in the city centre to make buying tickets and getting information as easy as possible - new, longer opening hours have been introduced, as well as new, 7 day a week coverage from our customer service centre via phone and email, along with improvements in social media comms and responses too. 

 

  • We said we’d improve the website and booking system for our Fly coach connection to Edinburgh Airport – this is almost complete and will be launched during January. 

 

  • We said we’d be committed to enhanced information at busy stops and on buses, with paper maps and timetables more widely distributed. These are now available on buses and new maps also posted at city centre stops. Our first stances to get the makeover treatment will debut at Ninewells Hospital, Barnhill and in the city centre during January 2024. 

 

  • A long-term wage deal that will pay up to £31,000 a year to drivers from January 2024 is now in place and we are well-staffed with cancellations at a minimum. Continued improvements to our working environment and fresh commitments are in place between ourselves and Unite, our trade union.

 

  • And, our fresh new identity has started to appear on our buses on the 1, as well as the 32 and 33 - with more to follow as we approach the end of the year.

 

  • We’ve launched our Punctuality Panels - a continual appraisal of our timekeeping as an open forum with drivers and wider colleagues to identify and deal with any timetable issues. We will be making some adjustments in the first quarter of 2024 that will improve our on time delivery. 

 

  • Our community outreach programme has seen us welcome different schools to our depot to show them behind the scenes of our business and operation. We also organised free travel for those who needed it to celebrate Christmas over the recent festive period. 

 

  • We are developing a range of Xplore Xtras with local businesses in Dundee to give money off for our customers whilst supporting them, particularly at this quieter time of year. Look out for more info on this soon. 

 

  • We will also be launching our Xplore Dundee Stakeholder Board as we invite elected officials and other interested parties to join us for a regular taking and listening workshop - ensuring we are meeting the needs of our communities and getting the help we need to make buses run as efficiently as possible across the city including improving highway measures as we champion the needs of the bus user.

 

We hope this update is useful and illustrates our passion for making things better for you. As ever, you may have some ideas to help us improve too, so do feel free to email [email protected] to get in touch.