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Belfast's Glider system - how it works as buses hit the city's roads

3rd Sep 2018

New state-of-the-art purple buses are taking over Belfast today.

The £90m Glider system became fully operational this Monday, operating on cross-city routes between East and West Belfast (G1) and the City Centre to the Titanic Quarter (G2).

On September 3, Glider will replace Metro 4a, 4b and 4x services in the east and Metro 10 c, 10d and 10e services in the west, although these services will continue to operate as Glider feeder services serving local estates and connecting residents of large estates in Dundonald and Colin with the Glider hubs at Dundonald park and ride site and Colin Connect.

Dedicated Metro Feeder services will operate from Ballybeen (4A) and Coopers Mill (4B) to connect with Glider G1 services at Dundonald Park and Ride, where they will terminate.

Dedicated Metro Feeder services will operate from Poleglass (10C), Lagmore (Mount Eagles 10D) and Twinbrook (10E) to connect with Glider G1 services at the Colin Connect stop on the Stewartstown Road, where the Metro Feeder services will terminate.Translink has said: "Glider is the new, effortless and smooth way to travel. It’s easy to use, frequent, accessible and excellent value, running approximately every 7 to 8 minutes throughout most of the day."

Bus lanes built for the service will operate from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Robin Totten, Translink’s Glider Senior Project Manager said, “We have been delighted with the positive feedback from the public who have been genuinely excited to try out the new Glider services. Over six thousand journeys have been made in the last 3 days so that is a great start!

“Our new Glider customers are telling us they like the modern, comfortable facilities on-board and the new cross-city element which allows them to easily explore other parts of the city and access hospitals more easily.

“Our staff and volunteers have been busy helping people get familiar with the new off-board ticketing system and people are gaining confidence, even after just one use. Volunteers and Translink staff will continue to be out and about over the next two weeks. We would also encourage people to familiarise themselves with our how-to-use guides and short videos on YouTube before they travel

“Glider is the first step towards transforming how we travel, already we are seeing how it can connect people to more opportunities, jobs, education, leisure and entertainment facilities and while it is a big change for the city the benefits of this new modern transport system will be huge for the city.

 

“We are pleased with the enthusiasm and positive feedback given so far and look forward to welcoming more Glider customers on board when we launch the full service on Monday 3 September. The new service will operate from approximately 5.30 am to midnight”.

Bus lanes for the service have caused some controversy across the city.

There will be a loading and unloading window between 10am and 2pm and vehicles with a blue badge will be allowed to stop in the lanes for up to 10 minutes to drop-off or pick up a blue badge holder.

Funeral corteges are also allowed to use the lanes, which the Department for Infrastructure said would create a "safer environment" for people to walk behind the hearse.

The Department for Infrastructure invested £90m in the Belfast Rapid Transit Glider service and hopes it will encourage people to use public transport.

With Glider you complete all your ticketing before you board with ticket vending machines and Smartcard validators at every halt speeding up boarding. Simply buy a ticket or tap your Smartcard and when Glider arrives push the button on the door.

G1 Services eastbound pick up at Wellington Place, Chichester Street and Custom House Square. G1 Services westbound pick up at May Street (St George’s Market), May Street (City Hall) and College Square East.

G2 Services to Titanic Quarter pick up at May Street (St George’s Market), May Street (City Hall), Wellington Place, Chichester Street and Custom House Square.

Source: Belfastlive