York, famous for chocolate and Vikings with sprinkle of Roman history. Was the setting for yet another eye catching display of Transdev's latest innovation. Cityzap.
Branding has been key for promotion and passenger growth, with so many new ideas, spreading around the Transdev fleet. The company has seen plenty of activity across 2015 and it looks like 2016 is going to be a bumper year for the group.
With the incredibly successful press launch and preview events for the #RidingRedefined 36. it seemed logical that the former 36 Volvo B7TL's were given yet another lease of life, with two new innovations for services in Blackburn #RedExpress and the new #Cityzap York to Leeds. 3601-7 are currently undergoing a livery change and spring clean for the new advertised #RedExpress X41 service in a red and blue livery, which will express its self when launched on April 3rd 2016.
The remaining former 36 vehicles are to be based at York, with 3608-12 all gaining new Wi-Fi, USB power sockets and the stunning Champaign silver and red livery shown above. The subtle branding blends in well with the new livery style, one assumes this is going to be the Transdev in house style for the new freshing-up of the Yorkshire and Lancashire fleets.
For your author it was a reasonable start for a trip across to York on Saturday March 19th, with a Park & Ride into the city from the A59, which is good value. From the railway a short brisk walk towards Piccadilly, where 3608 was turning into the area, again as seen above. It was here that 3609 was already parked on the initial area of Piccadilly, but with some skillful maneuvering the buses were set into a V formation, and #teamTransdev set about building the tables, flag poles and large Cityzap gun all for the first preview event.
Above two of the Transdev team are ensuring the buses are placed into position, before the 10am start off, for this preview event. Personally your author likes the sliver/white electronic destination blinds, no doubt engineered by Mckenna brothers. By the time the event was set up and ready special table covers with the CityZap name, timetables, mini zaptables, zaprings and zappistols. The children were able to win lollies for hitting the cityzap target with a spring activated toy gun, which was more than a hit during the day. Two zapgirls were on hand to give out all the above mentioned freebees and the information regarding the new express service.
During the morning Alex Hornby the CEO of Transdev joined the team at Piccadilly, York for another really top notch day. There was buzz of interest from the general public who stopped to chat and wonder around 3609, checking out the leather seats with additional USB power sockets. The interiors look smart and the positioning of the USB sockets on some of the seats is interesting. There are tubes along the lounge seats with USB sockets on the ends, with small plastic domes for the front upper deck windscreen. Instead of the various 36 inspired vinals, bright & bold Cityzap posters are the order of the day.
Two York drivers were on hand to answer questions about the new zapnav equipment power Garmin, which gives the driver up to date information on the local traffic situation, which will be helpful at peak times. The Cityzap route and timings takes around 20 minutes of the current Yorkshire Coastliner times, which is basically a 50 minute trip into Leeds, after the York collage stop. This allows the buses to run non-stop, along the A64 and continue on the A1M then the M621 into the centre of Leeds and the City bus station. Additional late night services are also provided on Friday and Saturday evenings until 3am each morning! Good for those who wish to go clubbing at the weekend, with a few beers.
Yorkshire Coastliner still continue into Leeds, with stopping in Copmanthorpe and Tadcaster, which still split with the collapse of the bridge after the 2015 boxing day floods. Yorkshire Coastliner still provide a service into Tadcaster with the 'Tadfaster' service, as the 840, 843, 845, X40 and X43 use the A64 then return into Tadcaster after the main high street and continue onto Garrnet Lane.
During the first week, which starts on Easter Sunday March 27th until April 2nd, passengers can enjoy the Cityzap service for £1, with Students and Rail users able to ride for a £1 until the end of April. After that its an £8 flat return fare, which is reasonable considering the car parks are getting more expensive in Leeds & York. Transdev also advertise the very reasonable priced Day Tripper ticket at £9 adult and £19 group (£3.80 each). with Day Tripper Plus ticket which takes the passenger from Whitby or Scarborough through to Preston at £15 adult or £31 as a group ( £6.20 each).
Team Cityzap are assembled for a photo around the Cityzap logo gun, with the team in full promotion mode for the service, with the buzz growing as the day progressed. Behind the team are the two tables full of passengers, gathering information and the freebees. In essence Alex and his team made me feel very welcome and it was a pleasure to catch up with Alex and his dedicated team.
Leeds had the pleasure of 3608 and the whole #teamCityzap for a day promotion of the new express service, with the main shopping area in Briggate the location for the bus. This was held on Sunday March 20th, with the Leeds Bid team also joining in the day's activities.
Your author hopes to sample this new service during the first week, with its eye catching Ray Stenning colour scheme and branding.
Get ready to get Zappy from Sunday march 27th 2016.
Here are my personal views on bus activity in my area and beyond