IT WAS a landmark occasion.
But the unknown passenger who became the one millionth shopper to board Huddersfield’s Free Town Bus had no idea he or she was a superstar.
Metro chiefs hailed the success of the service but shied away from making a fuss.
Introduced in October 2006, the pair of low-floor vehicles have made almost 70,000 complete journeys around Huddersfield town centre.
The millionth customer milestone was expected to be reached some months ago, but the use of the services dropped with the recent bad weather.
User numbers are monitored by a ‘Wayfarer’ machine which the driver digitally logs whilst passengers get on and off the vehicle.
Metro chairman Ryk Downes, said: “The FreeTown Bus has been a popular success from day one.
“By making it easier for people with mobility problems, buggies or small children to get around, Metro’s free bus services have been shown in surveys to increase the numbers of shopping trips, which support the local economy.”
Users at the stops had various reasons for jumping aboard.
Katie Whitehead, 22, a Huddersfield University student, said: “I get the train to university and I use the free bus everyday from the station. It saves time and it’s easier for me when I have to lug my uni books around.
“It’s free and comes every ten minutes – there are no negatives.”
Michael Claughton, 62, from Salendine Nook said: “I use this bus all the time. I have arthritis in my legs so it enables me to come out and shop in town as opposed to being stuck in.”
Karen Seed, 56, from Holmfirth, said ‘I don’t drive and the bus takes the stress of having to carry all your shopping bags around town off a little bit.
“It’s just so reliable, you know you won’t be waiting longer than a couple of minutes before there’s another bus due.”
Clr Downes added: “Users tell us the services give them the confidence to leave their cars at home and use the connecting trains and buses instead.
“One million passengers represents a lot of car journeys saved and a significant contribution to reducing local carbon footprints
“The Free Town Bus has been a huge success with far more people using it than we had expected.
“Not only has it made it easier for people to get around the town centre it has also reduced the number of car journeys. It is no surprise that this week has seen its millionth passenger.”
Since the service began four years ago it has carried an average of 62 passengers every journey.
The free bus, runs Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 7pm and from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Saturdays.