Free bus travel for Hywel Dda staff with Transport for Wales this March

TRANSPORT for Wales (TfW) has teamed up with Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) to offer free bus travel for health board staff as part of a new pilot to encourage workers to travel more sustainably and to help reduce pressure on its car parks.

The month-long pilot, which begins on Friday 1 March, means Hywel Dda UHB staff will be able to catch the TrawsCymru T1 service, operated by First Cymru, that runs between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth town centres via Glangwili Hospital free of charge by showing their staff picture ID to the driver.

Additionally, staff will be able to travel for free on the TrawsCymru T2 and T28 service, courtesy of Lloyds Coaches, from Aberystwyth town centre as far as Bronglais Hospital free of charge by showing their staff picture ID badge to the driver.

Hywel Dda UHB staff can use these services, seven days a week in March for work and non-work-related journeys – allowing workers to save on additional fuel costs for everyday trips made by car.

The pilot comes as the T1 service prepares to celebrate one-year since a new fleet of electric buses were introduced on the route.

Equipped with reading lights, tables, cordless charging and USB sockets, arm rests, information screens and an air purification system, the new fleet has proved to be a hit with customers and passenger numbers continue to grow.

Running between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, each T1 bus avoids 3kg of CO2 per round trip, which equates to over 12,700 cups of tea.

TfW and Hywel Dda UHB will be monitoring the progress of the pilot on Monday 18 March before a full review once it’s completed.

Mark Jacobs, Contracts and Performance Manager for TrawsCymru, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting Hywel Dda University Health Board by providing its hospital staff with free travel this March.

“This is a fantastic example of where public transport can provide meaningful change in supporting the health board’s ambitions to reduce congestion in its car parks and encourage its staff to make more sustainable travel choices by giving the bus a go.

“I’d like to thank our operators at First Cymru and Lloyds Coaches for their support of this pilot and we look forward to working with the health board to review the outcomes and consider further opportunities to run similar pilots on TrawsCymru services in other parts of Wales.”

Gareth Rees, Deputy Director of Operations at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “As one of the largest employers in Wales, we are committed to supporting our staff to access sustainable modes of transport.

“We’d like to thank Transport for Wales for this offer and extending it to the T2 and T28 service as far as Bronglais Hospital following an enthusiastic response from our staff.

“We know this may not be an option for everyone, but choosing sustainable modes of transport, even if it is once or twice a week, can add up to a significant impact on an individual’s carbon footprint, save money and help alleviate parking pressures on busy hospital sites.

“Feedback from staff planning taking up the free travel incentive has been very positive, and we hope over the course of March even more staff will be encouraged to use these bus services to travel to and from work.”

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