A popular city centre bus route has been boosted with a new ‘green’ vehicle and more frequent services.
Sunderland Connect was launched a year ago to link the main attractions, destinations and University halls and campuses around the city centre with new environmentally-friendly hybrid buses.
Buses will now run every 15 minutes to meet the demand from residents and students, with the improved frequency introduced to coincide with the new university term.
Sunderland Connect – also known as route 700 – is run in a unique partnership between Sunderland City Council, the University of Sunderland and Nexus, with buses operated by Nexus.
Cllr James Blackburn, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, and Shirley Atkinson Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, welcomed the third hybrid bus to the route at Sunderland Aquatic Centre, one of the many local attractions along the route.
Cllr Blackburn said: “It's always good to see new public transport services launched. It's great to see now that, building on a successful launch, we can increase the frequency of this convenient and popular Sunderland Connect service.”
Shirley Atkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, said: “Mobility around the City and it's attractions is important to our students and staff, and to residents and visitors to the City. We are pleased to be a partner in this innovative approach to 'green' public transport.”
Sunderland Connect runs every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes at other times, linking Sunderland City Centre and The Bridges, the Royal Hospital, Empire Theatre, Stadium of Light, Aquatic Centre, National Glass Centre, St Peter’s Church and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
The route takes in the University of Sunderland’s city centre and St Peter’s campuses and halls of residents along the route.
Passengers can enjoy ‘Campus Trails’ as they travel, a new mobile phone app offering students, visitors and the residents of Sunderland a digital experience to engage with the city’s past, present and future.
A single ticket on Sunderland Connect is £1.20 and an all-day ticket just £2, letting people hop on and hop off as they choose while they explore the city. Children can travel for £1.10 all day with an Under-16 Pop card, or 80p single. Passengers whose journey includes other Go North East services can buy or use a Buzzfare or Get Around ticket (for school children and students).