Public transport

We will be transforming bus travel for Portsmouth residents and those traveling to the city following the announcement by government that the city has been awarded £48 million to fund new tickets, reduced fares and make bus journey times shorter and more reliable. This supports the delivery of the National Bus Strategy designed to increase bus use and deliver a wide range of economic, health and social objectives.

This announcement came just weeks after the government announced that Portsmouth and Hampshire would be awarded £6.5 million for zero emission buses, bringing the total funding to transform bus travel in Portsmouth, and the wider area, to £54.5 million.

Bus Service Improvement Plan

The Bus Service Improvement Plan has been developed collaboratively with First Bus and Stagecoach, whilst also ensuring local priorities for the bus service are considered through engagement with the local community. This has included a city-wide survey with over 1,100 responses, engagement with user groups and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders.

The plan aims to create more frequent and reliable services on a better fleet of buses, improve the integration with other ways of travelling, develop ticketing options to make travel simpler, and provide more accessible information for passengers and those considering taking the bus. Examples of the changes needed include buses running from 4.30am to 11pm to benefit shift workers, buses operating until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays to support the night-time economy, and additional services operating in parts of the city that don’t currently have a bus service or have a poor one.

Improvements will be measured by targets for journey times, reliability of services, passenger numbers and passenger satisfaction. The document will be reviewed annually to ensure it reflects the changing needs of the city as the council strives to achieve its vision to become a greener city with excellent air quality and easy travel.

The first Bus Service Improvement Plan annual review and progress report can be found here.

As part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan, the council and local bus companies First Solent and Stagecoach have signed an agreement, making passenger experience the number one priority. Read more about the Portsmouth Bus Passenger Charter here. See our public transport route map and the latest Portsmouth Bus Service Improvement Plan initiatives here. 

The latest BSIP initiative includes the extension of  child discounts to young people up to age 19, a new Pompey range of bus tickets which can be used on all local buses and other enhancements to bus services including 24 hour bus routes in the city. To plan your journey your next discounted journey visit

Enhanced Partnership for Portsmouth

TCF logo

The Enhanced Partnership is a key part of the National Bus Strategy for England published in March 2021. The Enhanced Partnership for Portsmouth will see Portsmouth City Council and local bus operators working together to increase bus use across the city and improve the quality of life of residents and visitors.

The Enhanced Partnership provides an opportunity for buses to support City Council objectives for health, economy, air quality and access to employment, education and training. It supports the Imagine Portsmouth objectives of a green city with excellent air quality and easy travel.

For more information read the December 2022 Portsmouth Enhanced Partnership and Scheme.

South East Hampshire Rapid Transit

Working in partnership with Hampshire County Council, the Isle of Wight Council and local transport operators, we are delivering a programme called South East Hampshire Rapid Transit. Through a network of bus priority routes, direct rapid transit services will reduce journey times for those travelling into the city by bus.

In September 2020 the Portsmouth city region was successfully awarded just under £56 million from the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). Part of this investment will fund the next phase of South East Hampshire Rapid Transit, while supporting a number of active travel schemes across the region.

Portsmouth City Council is focussing its £26 million share of the investment on bus priority measures across the city to reduce journey times and improve reliability of services, making travelling by bus an even more attractive option.

Projects address congestion pinch points on key bus routes along Lake Road, Southampton Road, in the city centre, at Rudmore roundabout and Portsbridge area junctions

Find out more about these schemes

Zero Emission Bus Regional Area

We’ve been awarded £12.8 Million as part of the National Bus Strategy, for the funding of zero emissions buses as a result of a successful bid in partnership with First Solent and Hampshire County Council.

The 62 new electric buses will replace much of the current diesel fleet seen on the roads today. The new buses will operate across the Gosport, Fareham and Portsmouth and will support air quality improvements on the routes that travel through four of Portsmouth’s air pollution hot spots. For the latest news on the ZEBRA scheme see here.

For more information about the bid see:

Zero emission bus funding (ZEBRA 2)

Following on from a successful ZEBRA 1 joint bid with Hampshire County Council and First Bus in 2021/2022 that will see 62 new electric buses enter service across the Portsmouth city region from March 2024 on the following services:

  • Route 1 Hard Interchange – City Centre – Fratton – South Parade Pier
  • Route 3 South Parade Pier – Hard Interchange – QA Hospital – Paulsgrove – Fareham
  • Routes 9/9A Fareham – Gosport Ferry
  • Eclipse 1/2 Fareham – Gosport Ferry
  • Route X4/X5 Portsmouth Hard Interchange/Gosport Ferry – Fareham – Southampton

Portsmouth City Council in partnership with First Bus, have submitted a bid for funding to the Department for Transport for round 2 of their Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) Scheme funding for a share of the £129 million available across England to support the introduction of more Zero Emission Buses, being awarded via a competitive bidding process.

The Portsmouth/First Bus ZEBRA 2 bid builds on the ZEBRA 1 award, to take Portsmouth closer to a zero-emission public transport network. The bid covers 3 high frequency services both within Portsmouth and the inter-urban Star corridor to Waterlooville with links to rail, coach and ferry services, the QA Hospital and key employment and leisure destinations:

  • Route 2 Portsmouth Hard Interchange -City Centre – QA Hospital – Cosham – Paulsgrove
  • Star 7 Portsmouth City Centre – Cosham – QA Hospital – Waterlooville – Wecock Farm
  • Star 8 Portsmouth Hard Interchange – Cosham – QA Hospital – Waterlooville – Clanfield

If successful the bid will deliver 40 new Zero Emission Buses, improving air quality and access to employment, education, training, health and leisure facilities in areas of low car ownership

The Department for Transport is expected to announce which ZEBRA 2 projects have been awarded funding in March 2024.

Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas Application Form