Monday, 7 September 2015

The Lion Roars in Reading ...

... from 30th August
video
First Bus route 190 ...
... ran every 20 minutes between Bracknell, Wokingham and Reading.
From April 2014 it was joined by an "express" shoppers bus numbered X1 ...
... which ran every hour on Saturdays only.
In August 2014, the 190 became 90, or, less helpfully, became two route 90s ...
... absorbing the X1 and now running every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays.

So far, so good. Then First decided to abandon Bracknell to Courtney Coaches; but managed to sell the 90 to Reading Buses.
After a few weeks of operation by generic but unbranded vehicles, the new-look happened at the end of last month. The timetable was much the same ...
... but returning to the common sense of two route numbers, 4 via Bracknell estates and X4 running "direct". A few buses were running round in their new colours but without "the brand" ...
... but a Safari bus toured the relevant districts to launch "Lion".
The big cat will stalk the plains of... well, Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell! The new branding brings new buses, a new number and, of course, a new timetable!

Roaring into service, the lion is the new name for Route 90.

Inspired by the leopard 3 which also runs between Wokingham and Bracknell, the lion boasts the latest stylish design both inside and out. Mirroring the colours of the leopard, the new buses have stylish murals inside to remind you of the magnificent beast that give the route its name.
Christopher Biggins, eat your heart out!

Remember "On Safari"?

These Reading buses people really know how to promote a service; an "average" route run by First becomes something interesting, attractive and really, really good for the passenger. Tesco seem to know how to sell "stuff" and Reading Buses have a similar idea - observe all ye bus managers, learn and watch more bums fill more seats!

Meanwhile, take a visit to the gents loo in Bracknell and you will find a bit of wonky history.
The bus actually existed, registration number M810 PGM ...
... is seen here in an all-over advertising livery on route 193. The Beeline 194 became First Bus 194 but is now operated by Courtney Coaches ...
... with no change of route.
Good times for Bracknell ... BUT:-

Tomorrow; last weekend's big Island chop ...
... sadly not of the Barnsley kind!

 Next bus blog : Tuesday 8th September 

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