A big part of being a BID business is how you work with other BID businesses and the impact your operations have on the town overall. Stagecoach West has an enormous influence on the success of Cheltenham, which is why we have made them November’s BID Business of the Month.
In our business plan we said we would:
Negotiate reduced bus fares and parking charges and
Link with public transport operators to provide better services at key times
Thanks to Rupert Cox, Managing Director of Stagecoach West, we have been able to achieve this.
The discounted travel scheme is exclusive to employees of BID businesses and was launched in September 2016. There are now more than 80 businesses taking advantage of the programme with more than 1,000 tickets having been sold. Rupert said: “Stagecoach is firmly part of the local community and the relationship with Cheltenham BID has been tremendous. It is vital that the town has an effective, environmentally friendly and affordable bus service. Through our own initiatives and by working together with Cheltenham BID we really are getting Cheltenham moving.”
The BID helped Stagecoach West launch the new Arle Court Park and Ride service, which they took over in May this year, with their 93 and 94 regular services. Since they took over, there has been an increase in the number of people using the Park and Ride and visitors to the town are being encouraged to utilise the service.
Whilst other towns are seeing a decrease in the number of people using public transport, Cheltenham is bucking the trend. During September the number of people using Stagecoach West buses in the town increased by 2%, with non-concessionary passenger journeys up by more than 3%. This translates into about 4,000 extra bus trips being made every week.
With the busy Christmas shopping period coming up, the operations team at Stagecoach have helped to ensure that there will be additional services on Thursday evenings, making it easier for those working late to continue to use the Park and Ride services.
As well as supporting the BID, Stagecoach West has a reputation for going the extra mile for their passengers. No matter what the weather, they manage to keep the majority of their services running, keeping us all updated with regular social media activity.
As BID business of the month, Stagecoach West will have the opportunity for a representative to speak at Cheltenham Business Forum’s Big Breakfast in December.