Ulsterbus is a
public transportoperator in Northern Irelandand operates bus services outside of Belfast. It is part of Translink (the brand name for the subsidiary operating companies of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company- NITHCo), which also includes Northern Ireland Railways, Metro Belfast and Flexibus.
Ulsterbus is responsible for most of the province-wide bus services in
Northern Ireland. They operate 22 bus stations (several of which, such as those at Belfast Europa and Bangor, form integrated transport interchanges with Northern Ireland Railwaysstations) and 1,800 buses [ [http://www.ulsterbus.co.uk/aboutulsterbus.asp About Ulsterbus] Ulsterbus.co.uk - Retrieved on 2008-04-06] . Ulsterbus is charged with transporting over 65,000 children per day to school. Every July and August, around 250 vehicles are usually detaxed. This is because not as many are needed for service due to schools finishing for summer holidays.
Ulsterbus is now in the process of modernising its fleet for better accessibility for disabled people. On the 26 June 2006, Translink announced that the
Leyland Leopard, synonymous with Ulsterbus, will be phased out of service. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5123916.stm] These are being replaced by the Optare Solobus, amongst others.
Goldline is the name given to the intercity bus services operated by Ulsterbus. Up until the 1990s it had been called Ulsterbus Express and operated many of the same intercity services as today, but the Belfast-Londonderry service was relaunched as the Maiden City Flyer with eight new coaches in about 1990, and has seen major expansion over the years - Belfast-Derry went from a thrice daily service in 1990 to half-hourly now [Buses in Ulster Volume 6: Ulsterbus and Citybus 1988-2003] , and many services have been expanded and introduced. Goldline services are operated from Belfast to major destinations in Northern Ireland, plus the Goldline Express Service 200 to
Dublin(via Dublin Airport). This service is worked jointly with Bus Éireannservice 001.
There are also a number of cross channel (Irish Sea) services to
Great Britain, operated in partnership with National Express[http://www.nationalexpress.com/eurolines/destinations/ireland.cfm] under the Eurolinesbanner.
For many years, Derry's internal bus network was operated as Ulsterbus's Derry City Services. It was reorganised in September 2006 into Ulsterbus Foyle. [ [http://www.translink.co.uk/20060904newulsterbusfoyle.asp The launch of Ulsterbus Foyle] Link to press release for the launch of Ulsterbus Foyle. Retrieved
22 September2006.] In the same way that Translink Metro was used to modernize routes in Belfast the Ulsterbus Foyle network now offers 13 set routes across the city into the popular suburban areas of the city. It is hoped that the new service will make transportation in Northern Ireland's second city a lot easier and will encourage people to make use of Derry's public transport system; meantime, regional services between Derry and other towns and villages were rebranded as Londonderry Country services, sharing a District Manager with Ulsterbus Foyle.
Ulsterbus operate the "University Link" service between the two main campuses of Northern Ireland's largest universities, Queens University of Belfast, and University of Ulster at the Jordanstown campus. This service is regularly complained about by customers for high student fares and frequently absent services, despite a reasonable timetable.
Ulsterbus offer a private and contract hire service, with virtually any type of bus in the current fleet available for hire.
Ulsterbus operate "Day Tours" to other parts of Northern Ireland, the
Republic of Irelandand Scotlandmainly shopping and to some tourist attractions.
* [http://www.ulsterbus.co.uk/atulsterbus.asp Translink Ulsterbus]
* [http://www.sjp.clara.net/nibus/ NI Bus]
* [http://www.ith.org.uk Irish Transport Trust]
* [http://ulsterbusphotos.fotopic.net Ulsterbus Photos]
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