What mass transit is, our plans for public transport and mass transit, what we're doing and why.

What mass transit is

Mass transit is a public transport system that: 

  • can move lots of people across a city and the neighbouring regions 
  • can run separately to other traffic 
  • could be made up of several different types of transport 
  • could run both over and underground 

What we're doing

We're working on plans for a mass transit system for Bristol and the surrounding area with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and neighbouring councils in Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. 

WECA has invested £1.5 million to look into options for mass transit and investigate and develop possible routes. There'll be a public consultation about them in summer 2021. 

They'll assess all suitable options as part of the project. We've published image a map that shows where and how we want mass transit lines to run (386 KB) , in order to help connect people in Bristol with each other, jobs, retail, leisure and the surrounding area.

Our vision for public transport and mass transit 

Rapid bus routes

We ran a trial to close Bristol Bridge to traffic from August 2021. If Bristol Bridge closes to traffic permanently, we'll be able to:

  • connect rapid segregated routes through the city centre  
  • create a central bus loop and a hub where different transport options meet

Upgrades to bus services, including new city centre bus lanes, have already started, and First West of England has doubled the number of route 2 buses crossing Bristol Bridge. There are also plans for:  

  • new bus lanes to connect the city to existing and proposed new park and ride sites 
  • connections between the rail network and new public transport routes 
  • new railway stations 

Mass transit lines

Our next goal is to bring in a mix of over and underground mass transit lines running separately to other traffic. More information on these routes is in the pdf Bristol City Centre Framework (19.57 MB) , which we consulted on and adopted last year.

Why we're doing this

By increasing the use of public transport, we can build a case for government and private organisations to invest in a low carbon, reliable transport network. 

This will:

  • connect people in Bristol and the surrounding areas to each other, jobs, education and leisure 
  • help us meet the challenges of a growing population
  • help us meet our environmental targets