Friday 26 April 2019

It's Time to Ditch the car for Bluestar

*This is a paid partnership with Bluestar*

As someone who doesn't drive, I'm a frequent bus user in Southampton and now more than ever it is easier to get around by bus in our city. There's always been a stigma about getting the bus but with more than three million people nationwide choosing to leave their car at home and grab a bus, it's becoming a much more popular way to get around. 

Plus, all the time you're leaving your car at home, you're helping the environment! 

Bluestar have been operating in Southampton since 1987 and with a image overhaul a few years ago promising to shine across the city, the service just keeps getting better. I want to show you a different view of buses and convince you to ditch your car and catch Bluestar next time you head into the city as well as vowing to take the Bluestar Promise.

Bluestar have recently launched the Bluestar Promise and it's really easy for you to get involved by leaving your car at home and take the bus instead. Southampton has been singled out by the World Health Organisation as being at its limit of unsafe air quality so Bluestar are working with Southampton City Council to help reduce congestion. Bluestar want the people of Southampton to swap just ONE car journey a week and make the Bluestar Promise.

I’ll travel each week with Bluestar for clean air
Showing our city & children I care
Just once each week your car stays on the drive
Helping clean air in Southampton to thrive
Help clear congestion, keep our air clean
Ride on the bus and make Southampton green

Just one of their double decker buses with the Euro 6 engine can carry upwards of 70 people taking a number of cars off the road meaning less harmful emissions will be given off and it could have a significant impact on the air quality in Southampton. Over the last two years, they have invested over £15.5 million in 73 brand new low emission buses and continue to work towards cleaner air in Southampton.

Bluestar are the main inter-urban bus service in Southampton which makes getting from your door into the city centre effortless especially as there are now two services, the 17 and 7 serving Sholing and Weston through Woolston and into the city. Bluestar also operate services to the New Forest and Winchester which means a day exploring has never been easier. All the services are reliable, I've never experienced a late service before and checking when the next bus is can be done via the website so you're never waiting around for long. 

No more standing out in the cold wondering where the bus is.

They continually invest in their buses and technology to make sure you're getting the best service possible. The latest fleet of buses feature Euro 6 engines and start-stop technology to reduce the impact buses have on the environment and help strive towards cleaner air. As well as the engines, Bluestar buses offer free WiFi, USB chargers and contactless payment so travelling by bus is even more convenient. 

One of the best things about Bluestar is the cost! The cheapest way to get around on public transport is definitely by using Bluestar. I was so surprised at how low the fares were when I first started using them and finding out the best ticket for you is super simple, just head to the Fares & Tickets page of their website. You can calculate your journey before travelling, find the prices for 7 day, 30 day and 90 day tickets, apply for their Key Smartcard which can be topped up as you go or use the app, clickIt2Ride which is what I use. 

I love using the clickIt2Ride app because I can search the ticket I want, pay for it through the app then use my phone to scan my ticket as I hop on and off the buses. 

I think one of the main comments I receive from people about using buses is how grumpy and rude some drivers are but hand on heart, Bluestar's wonderful team of drivers are the most friendly and helpful people I have ever come across. When I first had Joshua, my one big fear was catching the bus on my own with the pushchair but Bluestar take the worry away. The drivers always lower the bus to make it easier to lift the pushchair on, they wait while I get my phone ready to scan my ticket and they don't pull away until the pushchair is secure and I'm seated. 

There's been times where I was catching a different bus than usual and they would always explain which way the route goes and let you know when to get off, waving you away with a cheery smile. Friendly service makes all the difference and it's one thing anyone that uses Bluestar always mentions first. 

Taking the bus cuts time, gets you from A to B and you won't need to worry about finding somewhere to park. Using the bus really is easier than it used to be and I hope after reading this you will think twice about grabbing your car keys. 

You can find out more about Bluestar's service, fares and community work by visiting which is full of news and helpful information. 

Will you be ditching the car next time?

This is a paid partnership with Bluestar - see disclaimer.
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