Bo’ness and Area Community Bus Association is a registered charity which runs a not for profit minibus service from Bo’ness to Edinburgh via Blackness. Our membership is free to anyone over sixteen who lives in the Bo’ness Blackness area. Our organisation is managed by a small group of voluntary trustees, who along with our staff of two drivers, sustain our minibus service.
Because we are all users, customer service definitely comes first. We aim to provide clean comfortable minibuses, and the highest standard of customer care. We currently lease two Ford Trend seventeen seater minibuses, which operate between Bo’ness and Edinburgh under a section 22 permit from the Transport Commissioner. The buses operate on a scheduled service recognised by Transport Scotland, and qualify for Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) and the Concessionary Fares scheme for Aged and Disability card holders.
Our fare structure is designed to be competitive with fares being equal or less than the alternative route via Linlithgow. We also have the option of operating ‘members only’ services under a section 19 permit, which does not qualify for any of the concessions or Grants mentioned above and would have to be run only when full costs are met by the hirer.Our services are fully covered by Employers & Public liability insurance, breakdown cover, regular inspections and maintenance.We wish all our customers an enjoyable, safe journey.
Many of our residents have felt isolated since Prentice Westwood services were removed in 2015; leaving 1 early morning service and 1 return in the evening. People, who used public transport to visit relatives, hospitals for appointments, students for access to University or College, or those who previously used the service for leisure activities or shopping, have all had to either make alternative journeys via Linlithgow, which added both time and cost to their journeys, or give up these activities. Since the introduction of our limited service, we have been praised by users who have welcomed the reintroduction of a direct bus service to Edinburgh during the morning, midday and afternoon; particularly those who live in Mannerston and Blackness.
This is another of our objectives that has only been partly realised so far. However, we are in the process of building partnerships with other organisations in the town also dependant on tourism. Organisations like the SRPS Bo’ness & Kinneil railway are already on board with advertising on our minibuses and an exchange of information on Facebook and other websites. We are also in discussions with the Falkirk Trust about information exchanges for the Hippodrome Theatreand Kinneil Estate and Museum. We are proud of our Town and have also made approaches to Visit Scotland to promote Blackness Castleand the John Muir Way. The first signs of success are two people from Warwick who used our service to visit the Steam Railway and two groups of walkers from Edinburgh who used our service to access the John Muir Way and Kinneil Estate.
Breaking Down Barriers To Employment
One of our main objectives is to help overcome barriers to employment. Bo’ness is now primarily a commuter town, with many of its residents travelling to work in Edinburgh. With employment opportunities available on our route at Edinburgh Airport and the Gyle Complex, it is important that those dependant on public transport have access to a service that is affordable, regular and at times that are outside normal office hours. It is our objective to supply such a service and it is our intention to introduce an early morning and later evening service midweek to help those non car owners to achieve employment as soon as possible.