The launch of the new service between Leeds and Manchester is ideally timed for Christmas shopping trips to festive markets and big-name stores in both Manchester and Leeds.
And to encourage people to try the new route, for its first week all one-way journeys will be just £1 – while concessionary passes will be valid for free travel throughout, with special discount fare deals for students, university staff and NHS workers.
The launch of Cityzap between Leeds and Manchester follows the huge success of the award-winning original Cityzap express between Leeds and York, which carried a quarter of a million passengers in its first 12 months.
Cityzap was launched following extensive customer research across the UK and Europe by bus operator Transdev, which revealed that customer perceptions of bus travel suffered due to the perception that even though buses linked major cities, the number of stops served along the route made it difficult for the bus to effectively compete against the train and the private car.
The launch of Cityzap’s pioneering service between Leeds and York in March 2016 swept those barriers aside, and a follow-up survey in December 2016 showed an impressive 38 per cent of customers had switched to Cityzap from the car or the train.
From this Sunday, the new Cityzap will whisk passengers between Leeds and Manchester city centres in as little as 75 minutes – comparing favourably with other ways to travel between the two, and at fares costing less than a third of the train.
Transdev CEO Alex Hornby says: “This exciting new service is being introduced following the amazing success of the original Cityzap route, and we’re confident it’ll be even more popular.
“Our secret is simple – we provide First Class travel, with coach leather seats, USB power points at every seat and fast and free Wi-Fi, at astonishing value for money fares which are much cheaper than going by train or driving.
“Our drivers have been hand-picked to offer a safe and friendly service – and as each bus is fitted with ‘zap-nav’, drivers can choose the quickest route to keep everyone moving. If we can get people there quicker, we will!
“We know our customers want to travel straight to the heart of the city, so in Manchester we’ll stop at Piccadilly Gardens, next to the Metrolink and bus station for easy connections and close to the Arndale Centre … and at Chorlton Street, next to the coach station and Canal Street.
“In Leeds we’ll stop at the city bus station, right next to Leeds Market and the recently-opened Victoria Gate shopping centre – and again, ideal for connections across Yorkshire, including Harrogate on the 36, and York on the original Cityzap express.
“Cityzap was created as a new idea to improve city to city connections across the North. It’s already won the ‘Making Buses Better’ prize at the UK Bus Awards, and I’m thrilled to see it building on its success with this important new service between two cities with so much to offer.”
The new Cityzap service is also great news for commuters and leisure travellers in the Halifax and Huddersfield areas – all buses will call at Ainley Top for easy park and ride and local bus connections.
Buying tickets for the new service has also been made easy. A brand new smartphone app, Transdev Go, offers a range of bargain day, weekly and monthly tickets for travel on Cityzap and a network of connecting services across the North of England from Preston in the west to the Yorkshire Coast in the east.
The app also gives users access to real-time live departure times from all stops on the new route – and a live news feed to make sure everyone’s in the know before they go.
The all new Cityzap express between Leeds and Manchester starts this Sunday (5 November) – and more information is also available online at: http://www.cityzap.co.uk.