Sprint – For a better connected West Midlands

What is Sprint?

Like all the world’s great cities and regions, the West Midlands is building an integrated rail, bus and rapid transit network.  Alongside new rail and metro stations, much of this network will be Sprint bus rapid transit, the right form of rapid transit for passenger flows on our major, high volume routes. 

Sprint will play a really important role in making sure that the West Midlands takes full advantage of the economic opportunities that HS2 brings. In addition, improving the public transport means better air quality for everybody.

Rapid Transit – or Sprint – is a limited stop service with dedicated bus lanes which will provide priority for public transport through areas of congestion, making journey times more dependable for passengers.

The vehicles operating on these routes will offer passengers a level of service and comfort similar to a tram with off-board ticketing, multiple-door boarding, wheelchair and pushchair access, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning as well as on-board audio visual announcements and travel information.

By 2026, we expect the Sprint network to be made up of seven routes and these will provide essential links to the two HS2 stations serving the region in Birmingham City Centre and Birmingham International.

Sprint Bus

Sprint will deliver passenger comfort and experience close to that provided on tram. Multi door boarding will support easier passenger movement throughout the vehicle, and reduce wait times at stops.

Significant investment on highway infrastructure and priority will enable priority for Sprint, providing significant improvement to journey time reliability. A Sprint BRT route can be provided for less than 25% the capital cost of Metro, and using existing highway powers can be delivered in less time.

Services will integrate with other public passenger services and ongoing journey requirements. Passenger information both on and off vehicle will support navigation and ongoing journeys to other West Midlands network services, be this through Real Time Information, or improved wayfinding for walking and cycling.

Improved access to jobs and growth opportunities including those provided by HS2, Birmingham’s Big City Plan, and other major employers in our region such as Jaguar Land Rover.

A new mode of transport – bus rapid transit with the comfort and speed of light rail. 75 miles (122km) of Sprint network is predicted to attract over 23 million passengers per year.

Over 80 new vehicles, with low noise, low vibration, and low emissions (final vehicle specifications and delivery will be agreed with the future Sprint operator).

High quality customer service with a distinctive brand and identity. Great passenger comfort, with airy interiors, plenty of legroom, and air conditioning.

Wi-Fi, audio visual announcements, and on-board next stop information, with over 300 upgraded stops.

Reliable and dependable journey times that will be at least 20% quicker than conventional buses, saving commuters over 2 million hours in journey time per year.

  • Dedicated public transport lanes and signal priority to ensure dependable average speeds
  • Turn-up-and-go service
  • Stops every 500-800 metres (less frequently than local bus)

 

Fast and Reliable Service

  • Dedicated public transport lanes and signal priority to ensure dependable average speeds
  • Turn-up-and-go service
  • Stops every 500-800 metres (less frequently than local bus)

 

Modern

  • Higher capacity vehicles
  • Vehicles are often longer articulated and specially designed
  • Latest energy efficient technologies

Integrated Customer Experience

  • Access for all
  • Multiple doors for quick boarding
  • Off-board fare collection to limit dwell times
  • Enhanced waiting environment with CCTV and wayfinding
  • Cycle storage as part of an integrated customer experience, where Sprint connects with the cycle network
  • Information for onward connectivity
  • Integration with other transport

Comfortable

  • Spacious and comfortable interiors
  • Enhanced facilities at stopping locations
  • Wi-fi, CCTV, on-board Real Time Information and next stop information
  • Low noise vehicles and smooth running services

Routes & Maps

Seven routes have been identified as Sprint corridors with three to be delivered for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the rest, which are part of the HS2 connectivity package, by 2026. They will ensure access to key high speed rail interchanges such as Curzon Street, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Airport.

A total of 7 routes will make up the Sprint network and these will be operational by 2026, in line with HS2.

Three of these routes have been prioritised and will be delivered in time to support The Commonwealth Games in July 2022. They are:

  • Birmingham Airport and Solihull to Birmingham City Centre (A45) passing the Games venues at the NEC site
  • Walsall to Birmingham City Centre (A34) passing the Athletes Village at Perry Barr and Alexander Stadium
  • Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham City Centre via Langley (SBL) linking to the new residential  development at Langley and the business development in Peddimore

In addition, we have combined the first phase of the Sprint proposals for the Hagley Road with plans to extend the tram to minimise disruption for residents and passengers and to bring forward the benefits of dedicated bus lanes for existing bus users.

We are also exploring options for including cycle routes alongside Sprint.

FAQ's

For all your questions on Sprint and the routes being consulted on, visit here.

View all FAQ's

Sprint Standards

Sprint Standards have been developed to present the features and concept of Sprint to partners, stakeholders and interested parties. The Sprint Standards also guide the design of the physical and operational characteristics of Sprint.

You can find out more about the Sprint Standards here.