The partners behind the guided busway are celebrating the news that 12,500 fewer car journeys are being made every week since the service was introduced.
Vantage, which runs the V1 and V2 services from Leigh and Atherton into Manchester, released new figures which showed passenger numbers growing year-on-year, resulting in the buses carrying an average of 9,000 commuters each week, in comparison with the same period in 2017.
The busway also reported its highest number of passengers travelling on the service, which reached 62,700.
To assist with demand, additional journeys have been added onto the V3 and V4 services.
This means there are now 27 buses scheduled to arrive in the regional centre between 7-9am.
Speaking about the popular Vantage service, Ian Humphreys, managing director for Vantage’s parent company First Manchester, said: “We’re pleased that Vantage continues to be a success and that people are opting to travel by bus, as opposed to driving into the city centre.
“We’re also proud that we now offer contactless as a payment method on board all of our Greater Manchester fleet, including Vantage.
“The introduction of contactless payments alongside our success with mobile ticketing means that paying for bus travel is more convenient and simpler than ever before and we’ve already seen eight per cent of customers making a switch to contactless.”
He added: “If more customers switched from cash to a digital payment method, then this would help to speed up bus boarding times and will therefore make overall journeys quicker.”
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee Chair, Coun Mark Aldred, said: “The additional buses that have been introduced to provide extra capacity are clearly having a welcome and positive impact and it’s great to see record numbers using Vantage services.
“As we look to tackle congestion and improve air quality, it’s vitally important that we continue to improve the customer experience and encourage people to leave the car at home.
“With even more services now running during the morning peak, an estimated 12,500 fewer cars are making the journey into the city per week – proving what an attractive and viable option Vantage is.”
The 4.5-mile bus-only guideway between Leigh, Tyldesley and Ellenbrook is part a £122m investment package by TfGM.