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Chance to have a say on free Hop! bus service as passenger trips top 1,500 a day

Published on Tuesday, November 21, 2023

2 minute read

Hop! green bus driving in city centre

THE free, green bus service introduced to take passengers around Leicester city centre has topped more than 1,500 passenger journeys per day.

The Hop! Bus service, which was launched in April 2023 as part of the city’s Greenlines electric bus programme, provides a free to use shuttle service to key locations around the city centre including Highcross, Leicester Market, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Jubilee Square and Leicester Station.

Over 100,000 passenger journeys had been made within five months of its launch, and latest figures show an average of 1,500 journeys every day.

The news coincides with the launch of a survey, where people can give their views on what they like or don’t like about the service, along with ideas to improve the service.

The consultation was launched on November 20, and runs until December 31.

The three zero-emission distinctive green Hop! buses – each of which features a quirky frog “ribbit” effect bell – seat 21 passengers and operate every 10 minutes on an anti-clockwise loop, with 12 stops along the route.

They have quickly become a familiar site around the city centre, running from 8am-6pm from Monday to Saturday. The new buses are fitted with electronic information displays, next stop announcements, WiFi and USB charging at each seat, with each of the stops offering real-time information displays and text-to-speech facilities.

The city council launched the free service on an 18-month trial basis as one of its Leicester Buses Partnership commitments. The Leicester Buses Partnership was launched in April 2022 to bring together all the local bus operators and Leicester City Council, to work jointly on addressing both the city’s transport needs and its environmental responsibilities.

Deputy city mayor for climate, economy and culture, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people are using the Hop! service as an easy, free and accessible way to travel around the city centre.

“They’ve become a familiar sight and sound on the streets, with over the 1,500 passenger trips per day regularly taking place.

“The survey is a chance to talk to businesses, local organisations and also people who do not currently use the service, to hear their suggestions on how it could be improved.”

Three fully-accessible zero-emission electric midi buses, costing around £1million, have been purchased for the Hop! scheme, thanks to a successful bid for funding from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The Hop! buses are the latest addition to Leicester’s growing fleet of clean, green electric buses and are part of the city council’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency, with the city’s whole bus network due to be fully electric or zero-emission by 2030.

Centrebus operate the service, with the city council funding the scheme and its promotion with a budget of around £325,000.

To take part in the survey visit the Leicester City Council consultations page here

More information about Hop! is available at the Leicester Buses website here.