|Parent||Transport for Greater Manchester|
|Service area||Manchester city centre
|Service type||Zero-Fare bus services|
Alexander Dennis Enviro200
|Operator||Arriva North West
First Greater Manchester
Manchester Community Transport
South Lancs Travel
Metroshuttle is a free bus system that operates in Manchester city centre and Bolton and Stockport town centres, all in Greater Manchester. Manchester's Metroshuttle consists of three routes (numbered 1, 2 and 3) that traverse the city centre, linking the city's major thoroughfares and stations with its main commercial, financial and cultural districts.
The Bolton Metroshuttle (numbered 500) links Bolton bus station with Bolton Interchange and many of the towns shops and attractions. The Stockport Metroshuttle (numbered 300) is the re-branded Stockport Shuttle bus which links Stockport bus station, Stockport railway station and the Tesco Extra store with the town's shops and attractions. The Oldham Metroshuttle (numbered 400) provides a connection with Oldham Mumps Metrolink station with the town centre and Oldham bus station.
Manchester's Metroshuttle first began operating in September 2002 and replaced the previous Centreline city centre operation. First Manchester was chosen by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to operate the service and has retained the contract. Two routes were introduced, numbered 1 and 2. The service was extremely successful. Route 3 was introduced in September 2005 and links additional areas of the city centre.
Manchester's Metroshuttle is a partnership between TfGM, Manchester City Council, National Car Parks and the property developer Allied London. The service is zero-fare (free) and does not require any tickets or passes. Allied London own the Spinningfields mixed-use development and all three routes serve this site. The service is also partially supported by advertising. First Greater Manchester provides a publicity contribution. The free service costs approximately £1.2million each year source: Buses Magazine
The Manchester Metroshuttle network consists of three services, each operated by First Greater Manchester. The services were originally operated using a dedicated fleet of 18 Optare Solo minibuses with route branding applied for all services, Route 1 (orange), Route 2 (green), Route 3 (purple). Some Solos carried a generic livery, consisting of silver-grey in place of the route colours allowing them to be used on any route. In November 2010, 20 electric hybrids Optare Versas replaced the Solos. Metroshuttle bus stops also share the same route colour of the appropriate bus stopping there.
|Metroshuttle Route 1||Metroshuttle Route 2||Metroshuttle Route 3|
Operator: First Greater Manchester
Operator: First Greater Manchester
Operator: First Greater Manchester
* denotes peak hours only
Bolton's Metroshuttle first began operating on 17 November 2008 and follows a similar operation to Manchester's Metroshuttle on a 12-month trial. Bluebird was chosen by TfGM to operate the service. The company ran the service until 25 January 2010, when local company Maytree Travel took over the operation of the service. The service has been re-routed on two occasions, the first to serve the Sainsbury's supermarket in the town, and then again in January 2011, when the service was given a 12-month contract extension and re-routed to serve the university. This route change saw the service reduced from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes.
In November 2012, it was announced that the contract for the service had been extended for another year and that South Lancs Travel had been successful in winning the tender for the Bolton Metroshuttle. The company took over the operation of the service from 31 December 2012 and uses diesel hybrid vehicles purchased by Transport for Greater Manchester.
Bolton's Metroshuttle is a partnership between GMPTA and Bolton Council. The service is completely zero-fare (free) and does not require any tickets or passes. The free service will cost approximately £200,000 per year.
Bolton's Metroshuttle originally consisted of two 25-seater Alexander Dennis Enviro200 single decker buses, with black and red route branding, although this has changed following Maytree Travel taking over the service, who replaced it with a blue branding. The service starts on Newport Street, outside Bolton Interchange, before running anti-clockwise around the town centre using existing stops within the town centre before returning to Newport Street.
Operator: South Lancs Travel
Stockport's Metroshuttle first began operating during Christmas 2007 as a complementary shuttle designed to help ferry the elderly and disabled around Stockport more easily. It was reintroduced on 29 November 2008 as permanent fixture. Branded the Stockport Shuttle Bus it was operated by Solutions SK on behalf of Stockport Council, before operations switched to Freshfield Coaches the following month, after it was revealed that SolutionsSK had been operating the service with a freight licence. The service was re-branded in August 2009 to form part of the Metroshuttle network, and was given a new livery to mark the change. Prior to this, the fleet (consisting of Optare Solos) were unpainted and fairly run down, even lacking roll blinds. The fleet was replaced with new Alexander Dennis Enviro200s, fitted with digital displays. In 2010, the operator of the service changed, with Oldham based Swan's Travel taking over the service  on a short-term basis, before being replaced by Bluebird in October 2010. Bluebird ran the service until March 2011, when the service was taken over by Stagecoach Manchester, who run the majority of services in Stockport. Stagecoach ran the service until 1 July 2012, when it was transferred to Arriva North West's Wythenshawe depot.
Stockport's Metroshuttle runs in two loops around Stockport town centre and use existing stops, as well as dedicated stops in areas where other services do not operate within the town centre. The service starts from Stockport bus station and runs to Stockport railway station via Grand Central Stockport before returning to the bus station then via Mersey Square, Bridgefield Street, Warren Street (for Sainsbury's and Asda), Great Portland Street to Tesco before returning via Knightsbridge, Warren Street (for Sainsbury's and Asda again), Millgate, Churchgate, Little Underbank and Great Underbank to Stockport Bus Station.
Operator: Arriva North West
In June 2012, the Manchester Metrolink tram network started running services to Oldham with trams running to a temporary Oldham Mumps Metrolink station located near the former railway station before trams start running into the town centre and a new Mumps stop in 2014. Following criticism of long walks up steep hils into the town centre from passengers, Transport for Greater Manchester and Oldham Council organised a free service linking the tram stop with the town centre.
The service was branded as Metroshuttle and started service on 30 July 2012 running a half-hourly service. From 1 October 2012, the service increased to every 20 minutes with Optare Versa hybrids, similar to the ones used on the Manchester Metroshuttle services, also introduced.
The service was extended to run until 20:00 on Thursdays from mid-November 2012 until Christmas and also on weekdays on the week before Christmas to appeal to Christmas shoppers in Oldham.
Oldham's Metroshuttle starts outside the Metrolink station on Victoria Street. The service then heads to Oldham town centre along the Oldham Way by-pass (A62 before heading into town via King Street stopping near Mecca Bingo. The service had previously ran temporarily to the Manchester Street roundabout and then up Manchester Street, stopping outside Aldi while King Street was closed due to the Metrolink work going on in the town centre.
From King Street, the service continues into the town centre and the bus station, stopping at the Cheapside station at stand C. The route then follows the same route as several of the fare-paying services via St Mary's Way, Lord Street, Yorkshire Street and Princes Street back onto the Oldham Way before looping around to the tram stop on the other side of the carriageway via Huddersfield Road, Cross Street and Lees Road. An additional stop on Lees Road was introduced from October 2012.
Operator: Manchester Community Transport
Following the success of Metroshuttle, Transport for Greater Manchester have been studying the feasibility of introducing Metroshuttle routes in other towns in Greater Manchester, to provide a high-quality town centre bus service that links key public transport nodes and car parks with the main retail, commercial, leisure and cultural destinations within town centres.
Other towns like Bury and Wigan had been mentioned to gain routes, however, the chances of this happening were reduced following the rejection of the Manchester Congestion Charge in December 2008. However, Oldham gained a Metroshuttle service in July 2012.
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- Bolton, Manchester and Stockport Metroshuttle Information page (TfGM)
- Oldham Metroshuttle Information page (Oldham Council)
- Bolton Metroshuttle Route Map (TfGM)
- Manchester Metroshuttle Route Map (TfGM)
- Stockport Metroshuttle Route Map (TfGM)
- Oldham Metroshuttle Route Map (Oldham Council)