Bus operators across the West Midlands have signed up to the Bus Alliance, the first of its kind in the country which will see £150 million invested by operators and partners between now and 2021.
The Alliance will enable operators to meet rigorous new standards on key issues such as vehicle emission levels, branding, maximum fares and frequency.
It has been devised by the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) and Centro. The Bus Alliance will make wider use of Statutory Quality Bus Partnership (SQP) powers under the Transport Act 2000 and Local Transport Act 2008. The SQP has since 2010 set a minimum standard of quality for buses operating in Birmingham city centre. These will now be rolled out over the entire region.
Solihull town centre followed by Wolverhampton city centre are likely to be the next areas where a Statutory Quality Bus Partnership will be implemented during 2016.
The Alliance will tackle such quality issues as removing older, more polluting buses. It will also work to ensure objectives set down in the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority's bus policies are met. These include: