McGill’s Bus Group, the UK’s largest independent bus operator, is launching a new-look CitySwift identity as part of the transformation of its Midland Bluebird company across Stirling, Falkirk and the Forth Valley.
The new look X36/X37, now known as CitySwift, linking Stirling and Falkirk to Glasgow will go into service on Friday. A dedicated fleet of buses have been transformed, inside and out, with striking new branding, seats set around tables and free USB charging ports. Some minor timetable changes have also been made to improve timekeeping. This latest improvement is the next step in the transformation at Midland Bluebird, which was acquired from FirstGroup less than 12 months ago.
The company, owned by Scottish billionaire businessmen Sandy and James Easdale, has invested over £100,000 in this transformation, which will give passengers better, brighter buses offering quicker and comfier journeys. This is further to the ongoing fleet replacement programme which has seen 150 newer buses enter service during the last year, leading to enhancement in reliability and growth in customer numbers.
A launch event took place at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, with bus industry VIPs in attendance – including colleagues from local authorities, politicians and other partners – all invited to preview the new buses and discuss future plans for the business. A series of public roadshows were also held in Stirling and Falkirk centres to give members of the public chance to see the revitalised buses, get timetables and pick up some freebies.
Alex Hornby, Group Managing Director of McGill’s Bus Group, said:“This is the latest investment for Midland Bluebird as we continue to transform the company and improve local bus services for our customers, all with the aim of growing demand and making bus the mode of choice.
“We have invested heavily in revitalising our fleet and quality of product, and the new CitySwift signals our intent for the quality of services customers should expect, with modern on-board features that create more pleasurable journeys.
“We were delighted to have the support of local councillors, MSPs and MPs for our current and future plans and we were pleased that these improvements were well received. The most important people, our customers, were also impressed with our ongoing work to improve the Midland Bluebird network and we are really excited at ushering in further growth as the hard work of our team continues to pay off.”
Alyn Smith MP said: “I’m glad to see strategic investment and planning from our local bus operators, helping connect Stirling to our neighbouring communities. Commuting using public transport should be as frictionless as possible if we’re to reduce car usage and help tackle the climate crisis, and the launch of CitySwift will be a vital part of the overall coherent transport system Stirling desperately needs. I thank McGill’s for their vote of confidence in the future of bus travel around Stirling, and wish staff and passengers on the route every success.”