Jet Black Boost
From Monday 17 March two additional vehicle have been deployed onto Jet Black route 1 to help improve reliability pending the design of a new timetable. Operated from Reading, the vehicles temporarily allow buses an additional 30 minutes at each end of the route in the event of unexpected delays. In an unexpected move 1010 has been repainted into JetBlack livery, and is being joined by Scania loan vehicle 1100 as the second. Solar 1011 also remains active with Vitality branding now removed, and has appeared along with 819, 1012 and 1110 in recent days.
1010 and 1100 spending a brief moment together in Newbury Bus Station on 21st March. Thanks to Bob Morley for this photo.
1011 lending a hand on 19th March.
Vitality Gets Zesty
Today saw five of the latest batch of 14 Scania KUB270 / Alexander Dennis Enviro 300SGs enter service on route 2 between Mortimer, Burghfield and Peppard Common. The service is rebranded Lime 2, replacing the Vitality brand which was used to relaunch the rural services 102, 137, 138, 143, 148 and 149 as 1, 2 and 3 almost exactly five years ago in April 2009. Lime green was of course recently used as the generic colour for minibus services, and before that for routes to Caversham Heights (9 followed by 22), but equally the zesty colour seems to have a nice fit with the 'bringing energy to bus travel' strap line previously used in the Vitality branding. The relaunch sees all of Reading Buses commercial network come under the same house style, albeit with variations from route to route.
433 arriving from Oxford Road today.
431 at the Broad Street Arena turning into West Street.
As part of the relaunch a refreshed timetable has been introduced, deploying a sixth vehicle at peak periods to improve reliability and incorporating the additional journeys previously operated as route X2. Improved evening timetables are also being provided on both sides of the route.
432 at Reading Station this afternoon on an extra 2a journey that has been added to the timetable for the peak.
Meanwhile generic liveried 421 crept into service last week to provide additional cover as warranty work continues on the first batch and demonstrator 400 has been replaced by an OmniCity double decker 1100 which is still being prepared for service. With the Vitality buses still available pending disposal,1007, 1009 and 1011 saw service on unusual workings today along with generic 1012/13/31.
422 entered service today, and was in all day use on the 2/2a. 421 was also used in the morning. The front of these seems more Gold than the silver used on 420.
1009 on the 16 and 1007 on the 17 at lunchtime today.