Metro - The Lifeblood of Belfast

Metro buses carry almost 600k passenger journeys every week helping to boost employment, tackle physical inactivity, enabling access to education, supporting retailers and tourism and reducing congestion.

A record 30 million passenger journeys were made on Metro and Glider last year - an extra 2.5 million - demonstrating the service’s vital role for modern living in the city.

  • Service enhancements
  • Metro is introducing a phased programme of corridor enhancements and simplifying the network to make it more accessible. Passengers will see around 2,000 simplified bus stop flags, renumbered routes, use of colour and improved presentation at around 500 bus shelters, alongside service enhancements to accommodate growing suburban areas.
  • Starting in North Belfast from 2 September, we’re investing over £3.5m in local services with the introduction of 20 new eco-vehicles, providing around 1,000 additional seats per day, service enhancements and passenger information, helping aid city regeneration and recovery efforts following the Bank Buildings fire. We will also introduce a 12c service to serve new housing developments in Thornbury and Wolfhill.
  • Passengers in East Belfast will benefit from a new 3b service travelling directly between the city centre and Knocknagoney, serving Albertbridge Road and Holywood Road, with Metro 3a continuing to serve Newtownards Road, Connsbrook Avenue and Inverary. This will enable a faster, more reliable service on this corridor. Metro 27 and 28 services will also serve Connsbrook Avenue and Station Road. In West Belfast, passengers have been able to use new 10j and 10k services since 1 July, improving connectivity between Glen Road and Colin Connect and bringing added benefits for local users, especially those availing of school services and the forthcoming Brooke Activity Centre.
  • The next phase of improvements is planned for 2020/21 onwards. Subject to funding, this phase will see improvements to frequency and connectivity of services operating along Lisburn Road and Malone Road. The new Ulster University campus will present an opportunity to improve connections between north and south Belfast.
Changes to Metro

From 2 September 2019 Metro will be introducing simplified route numbering and route changes making it easier for customers to use our services.

Protecting Our Environment

 The committee on Climate Change’s new advice for Government is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero by 2050. The UK Clean Air Strategy 2019 has also said that air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK.

As transport is one of the largest sources of emissions, we intend to play our part in order to work towards a cleaner, healthier city. 

Alongside attracting more people to use public transport over the private car we are also investing in new Eco-vehicle technologies and recently made our own bold statement; pledging to only purchase Ultra Low Emission vehicles for Belfast Metro including Hybrid Electric buses in the future, trial Zero Emission Electric and introduce Hydrogen buses within the next 12 months subject to securing appropriate funding. As a result, vehicle emissions could reduce to <10% of the current fleet.

Supporting Local Retailers

Local bus services make it easy for people to access the city centre and other local retail hubs. Many retailers in both the east and west of the city have welcomed Glider with its increased connectivity bringing a host of benefits and new opportunities.

Recent research by Grant Thornton also supports the economic impact of local bus trips reporting an average spend per traveller of £46 for retail purposes and £50 for socialising.

Connecting Communities

Metro is helping to build local communities, connecting people and enabling them to play a more active role in society. With over 30% of households in Belfast having no access to a vehicle, the local bus service enhances social mobility for all including young people, older people, people on low incomes, those with disabilities and jobseekers.

Enhancing Health And Wellbeing

More people are taking the bus to get some physical activity as part of their day with the walk to the bus stop. They also welcome the ‘me time’ on board, or take the opportunity to connect with others helping to improve mental wellbeing.

Let’s Go Together

We will be working over the summer to keep passengers and communities updated on the changes and to highlight the many benefits of the local bus network to our society.

This is just the start of a phased programme of service enhancements set to be introduced across the city over the next few years aimed at attracting even more people to make the bus their first choice for travel. This also ties in with the ambitions of the draft Programme for Government and Belfast City Council’s Belfast Agenda.

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