75 at night

First Glasgow announces withdrawal of night bus services

First Glasgow has today (10th July) announced the withdrawal of its night bus services in Glasgow, which will commence on 31st July.

The decision was made following a 12-month period of monitoring passenger numbers, which revealed that services were regularly operating with as few as 14 passengers per hour. Despite facing significant losses, First Bus has continued to run its night services through the city.

The change will impact 11 routes that operate across the city in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The drivers who work late into the night to deliver these services will be redeployed into the daytime network to further support existing services across the city where passenger recovery is strong and additional capacity is required.

First Glasgow reintroduced its night bus services in June 2022 to help boost the night-time economy in the city as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

Despite significant efforts from First Glasgow to promote the services, including offering free tickets in December last year, passenger numbers remained between 30% and 35%. First Glasgow also highlighted its concerns on night bus service uptake through meetings with stakeholders and partner organisations as an attempt to secure promotional support.

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director at First Bus Scotland, said: “We were delighted to be able to reintroduce our night bus network last June in an attempt to support the city’s night-time economy.

“Despite a wide variety of efforts by First Glasgow and partner organisations to increase the number of people using the night buses, it has not reached the level required to sustain these services beyond July. To do so, we would require the number of people using them each weekend to treble overnight, which is not realistic.

“We really wanted to give these services every chance to succeed which is why we have absorbed the operating losses for the last 12 months. It has become clear, however, given the change in behaviour and times people are going out in the city at the weekend, there is not enough appetite in Glasgow for night bus services to successfully operate into the early hours.”

First Glasgow’s night buses covered travel from the city centre across Glasgow and the surrounding areas including Clydebank, Paisley, Newton Mearns, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell and Wishaw.


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Craig Dennett, PR Manager for First Bus Scotland at craig.dennett@firstbus.co.uk

Notes to Editors

About First Bus

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.

For more information on First Bus: news-scot.firstbus.co.uk