BUSSLEIđIN

The Tˇrshavn city bus network  (the red buses)

Rey­ir břbussar

  faroes flag





This is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information, which can be found at  www.torshavn.fo

Hendan sÝ­an vÝsur gamlar tÝ­arŠtlanir og ikki tŠr i­ eru galdandi n˙.
        Denne side viser gamle k°replaner og ikke de aktuelle tider.


40th ANNIVERSARY   1979  -  2019    BŢBUSSAR ═ 40 ┴R 

Situated at the south-eastern end of the island of Streymoy, Tˇrshavn is the capital and seat of government of the Faroe Islands. By international standards it might be considered a small capital city with a population of some 19,000 people - which is nearly a half of the total population of the islands.  But Tˇrshavn is big enough to have its own network of  bus routes, linking the commercial centre with the housing developments on the hills around the town and beyond.  The name of the town bus network is Busslei­in which is Faroese for `bus routes'. The blue country buses in the Faroe Islands are operated under the name Bygdalei­ir.

Local bus operation in Tˇrshavn is not an entirely new phenomenon: 75 years ago, in 1944, Ële Arge (1897-1965, known as Bil-Ëli having had one of the first cars in the islands) organised a 20-seater bus running between the town centre, the hospital, Argir, Sundsbr˙nna and to the tuberculosis sanatorium in Hoydalar (opened in 1908). By 1959 the bus routes had been extended to include a run westwards to Velbasta­ur. 


1944 bus timetable Ole Arge
1944 timetable for Ole Arge's town bus service around Tˇrshavn and Argir

The introduction of town services in the Faroese capital in more modern times followed a one day experimental operation which took place on Saturday 5 August 1978, using two buses over three routes.  This was followed by the establishment of regular services from June 1979, contracted by the town council to local taxi and transport operator p/f Bil (the word 'bil' simply means car or vehicle).  The half-hourly route pattern of operation required three vehicles, and these were Volvo B58 chassis with 29 seat VBK (Vestfold Bil & Karrosseri) bodies. They carried registrations F40026, F40027 and F40028.


bil bussleidin fleet
The three Volvo buses of  p/f Bil that started the town service in Tˇrshavn in 1979 (ikki i rutu = not in service)
photo from the Bil of Tˇrshavn collection

F40026 again
Volvo F40026 of p/f Bil on a school run (1979 - 1983)
photo from the Bil of Tˇrshavn collection

At that time (1979) there was a complicated network of six services, as under:

Monday - Friday daytime and Saturday morning (half hourly) -

   1. Hoyvik - R C Effers°esg°ta - Miđbřur (out and back)

   2. Miđbřur - Marknagilsvegur - Landavegur - Miđbřur (circular)

   3. Miđbřur - Eystursk˙li - Miđstađar°kiđ - Ternuryggur (out and back)

   4. Miđbřur - Landavegur - Sj˙krah˙s (hospital) - Miđbřur (circular)

   5. Miđbřur - Bursatangi - Miđbřur (circular)

   6. Miđbřur - R C Effers°esg°ta - Gundadalur - Varđag°ta - Miđbřur (circular)

On Monday - Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday all day the routes operated hourly, excepting the 4 which stayed half hourly. Route 5 changed from its daytime route at these times, becomingMiđbřur - Eystursk˙li - Miđstađar°kiđ (out and back, duplicating part of 3).

Miđbřur was the town centre location now referred to as Steinat˙n.  Service to Argir was added in 1980, after that community merged with Tˇrshavn, giving this pattern of routes:

   1. Hoyvik - R C Effers°esg°ta - Miđbřur (out and back)

   2. Miđbřur - Sj˙krah˙s (hospital) - Miđbřur - R C Effers°esg°ta - Gundadalur - Varđag°ta - Miđbřur - Sj˙krah˙s - Miđbřur (circular)

   3. Ternuryggur - Eystursk˙li - Miđbřur - Sj˙krah˙s - Argir - Sj˙krah˙s - Miđbřur - Eystursk˙li - Ternuryggur

   4. Eysturbřur - Djˇna Ý Geil G°ta - Miđbřur - Marknagilsvegur - Miđbřur - Djˇna Ý Geil G°ta - Eysturbřur

Routes 1, 2 and 3 operated half hourly on Monday to Saturday from 0600 to 2000 and then hourly to midnight. On Sunday they ran hourly from 0745 to 2345, increased to half hourly between 1415 and 2015. Route 4 operated half hourly on Monday to Saturday thoughout the day from 0630 to midnight. On Sunday the frequency was hourly from 0800 to midnight, incresed to half hourly between 1430 and 2030. The daytime operation of these four routes called for five buses. The 'suburban' route to Kaldbak appears in the timetable for the first time, with four return trips on Monday to Friday and three on Saturday and Sunday.

Hvitanes was included in 1981 and the northern loop joining Ternuryggur to Hoyvik and Hvitanes was first operated in 1982 as the town grew outwards.  Service reached northwards to Undir Brunni and the Hotel F°royar (the latter short-lived) in 1983 and also westwards to Norđasta Horn.

The operating contract changed and from 1983 the buses were provided on behalf of the Kommuna (town council) by four private contractors (Mourits Mouritsen, Arne Berg, Sßmal Blßhamar and Gunleif Danielsen).  These were the routes in 1983:

   1. Hoyvik - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Gundadalur - Varđag°ta - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Hoyvik (subsuming previous route 2)

   3. Hoyvik - Hvitanes - Ternuryggur - Eystursk˙li - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Argir - Steinat˙n - Eystursk˙li - Ternuryggur - Hvitanes - Hoyvik

   4. Hotel F°royar - Undir Brunni - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Norđasta Horn - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Undir Brunni - Hotel F°royar

Routes 1 and 3 were half-hourly Monday to Friday daytime and Saturday morning, dropping to hourly in the evening and all day Sunday. Route 4 was hourly seven days a week. The adult single fare was 7 krone and the ticket was valid for one and a half hours.


Double issue Ultimate ticket for single journey 10 krone fare (1998)   Picture taken at main transfer point Steinatun in central Tˇrshavn in 1992
     
ticket   steinatun

The network of routes seemed a little unsettled and continued with several changes over the years. In 1991 there were five routes numbered 2 to 6, operating half hourly Monday to Friday daytime, hourly in the evening and all day Saturday. There were no longer buses on Sundays. The routes in 1991 are listed here, and called for seven buses:

    2.        Nor­asta Horn - Marknagilsvegur - Steinat˙n - Hoyvik - Hvitanes - Ternuryggur - Eystursk˙li - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Argir

    3.        Argir - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Ternuryggur - Hvitanes - Hoyvik - Steinat˙n - Marknagilsvegur - Nor­asta Horn

    4.        Millum Gilja - Undir Brunni - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Heygsvegur - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n (continues as 5)

    5.        Steinat˙n - Gundadal - Var­ag°ta - Sj˙krah˙s - Heygsvegur - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n (continues as 6) (evenings did not serve Sj˙krah˙s loop)

    6.        Steinat˙n - Undir Brunni - Millum Gilja

In 1992 Sunday service was reintroduced on a 90 minute frequency and the town services were reorganised into the basic pattern of circulars 1, 2 and 3 which would serve as a foundation for the network of routes into the 21st century.The four contractors, each with two Volvo buses, operated the comprehensive red bus network of three main circular routes.  These served all parts of the town from Argir and Nor­asta Horn to Hoyvik and Hvitanes, with timed connections between routes at Steinatun in the town centre.  (Steinatun is the central point on J Paturssonarg°ta on the map below).   The base vehicle requirement was six buses for the weekday service, and these were provided on a four weekly cycle by the four contractors. Second hand buses brought from Denmark seemed to be favoured at the time. The drivers worked a basic five day week of straight six hour shifts, which seems less than onerous when compared to British practice. Adult flat fare was 11 krone in 1992.

Pictured below is the 1995 route map and list of services.  Some 2,700 passenger journeys were made a day, from Tˇrshavn's then population of 15,000 people. Daytime services were still half-hourly, hourly on evenings and all day Saturday, and every 90 minutes on Sunday (reinstated to hourly in 1997). Route 4 was then being operated separately by the blue Bygdalei­ir country buses on behalf of the Kommuna, and it disappears off the top of the map to run via Kaldbaksbotnur to the village of Kaldbak, a more distant part of the Tˇrshavn community. There were five journeys Monday to Friday, four on Saturday, three on Sunday. (Farst°­in is the ferry terminal for shipping services to the other islands and Sj˙krah˙s is the hospital).

    1.        Farst°­in - Marknagil - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Gundadalur - Undir Brunni - Var­ag°ta - Sj˙krah˙s - Marknagil - Steinat˙n - Farst°­in

    2.        Argir - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Sundsvegur - Millum Gilja - Litlagil - Steinat˙n - Landavegur - Nor­asta Horn

    3.        Nor­asta Horn - Landavegur - Steinat˙n - Hvitanes - Inni ß G°tu - Sundsvegur - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Argir

    4.        Tˇrshavn - Kaldbak (operated by Bygdalei­ir as route 104)

  
Hendan sÝ­an vÝsur gamlar tÝ­arŠtlanir og ikki tŠr i­ eru galdandi n˙.        Denne side viser gamle k°replaner og ikke de aktuelle tider.

map_1995


The 1995 pattern of three half-hourly circular routes plus the Kaldbak service continued through the later 1990s until the Busslei­in network was enhanced in June 2001 by the addition of new routes 5 and 6.  Routes 1 to 4 continued unchanged.  Route 5 followed part of route 4 from the town centre to Kaldbaksbotnur but then proceeded through the road tunnel and along the eastern shore to the township of Kollafj°r­ur, which by now had also become also part of the enlarged Tˇrshavn community (and also served along the same roads by Bygdalei­ir trunk route 400 from Tˇrshavn to Leirvik and Fuglafj°r­ur).  Route 6 was a new hourly circular service starting from a previously unserved southern part of Argir called Hamarin, and proceeding through Marknagil, Sundsvegur, Vegurin Langi, Hvitanesvegur and Yviri vi­ Strond to the town centre.  It also linked several of the schools and colleges in the town to residential areas. Both routes 4 and 5 had five journeys each Monday to Friday, four on Saturday, three on Sunday.

These were the 2001 routes:

    1.        Farst°­in - Marknagil - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Gundadalur - Undir Brunni - Var­ag°ta - Sj˙krah˙s - Marknagil - Steinat˙n - Farst°­in

    2.        Argir - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Sundsvegur - Millum Gilja - Hoyvik - Steinat˙n -  Landavegur - Nor­asta Horn

    3.        Nor­asta Horn - Landavegur - Steinat˙n - Hoyvik - Hvitanes - Inni ß G°tu - Sundsvegur - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Argir

    4.        Farst°­in - Kaldbak

    5.        Farst°­in - Hvitanes - Kollafj°r­ur

    6.        Farst°­in - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Hamarin - Marknagilsvegur - Hoyvik - Sundsvegur - Yviri vi­ Strond - Farst°­in

Further revisions and simplification of the Tˇrshavn bus network took place in February 2003.  Routes 4 and 5 were combined to operate as route 4 from Tˇrshavn to Kaldbak, returning to Kaldbaksbotnur and then through the road tunnel to Kollafj°r­ur.  The town terminus was at Farst°­in on the harbour front and near to both the Bygdalei­ir country bus terminus and the off-islands ferries departure point. Route 6 was discontinued and town routes 1, 2 and 3 reorganised as under. The routes are somewhat complicated and circular in nature.  Each then operated half hourly Monday to Friday daytime, hourly in the evenings and hourly on Saturday and Sunday - but there was no longer an evening service on Saturday or Sunday.  From 1st February 2003 all buses for routes 1, 2 and 3 were provided by Mouritsens Bussar; since January 2001 buses for routes 4 and 5 were provided by Gundur Johannesen of Kollafj°r­ur.  The Mouritsen depot was in Mykinesg°ta (off Velbasta­vegur) on the western outskirts of Tˇrshavn.

    1.        Hamarin - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Undir Brunni - Var­ag°ta - Sj˙krah˙s - Marknagil - Bursatangi - Steinat˙n - Marknagil - Hamarin

    2.        Argir - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Hvitanes - Inni ß G°tu - Sundsvegur - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Argir

    3.        Nor­asta Horn - Landavegur - Steinat˙n - Sundsvegur - Millum Gilja - Litlagil - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Landavegur - Nor­asta Horn

    4.        Farst°­in - Kollafj°r­ur

    5.        Farst°­in - Kaldbak

With the 2004 timetable routes 4 and 5 were separated again, at least on Mondays to Fridays, remaining jointly operated as route 4 on Saturdays and Sundays. Route 1 was slightly amended in the middle of its circular peregrinations to serve the SMS shopping centre instead of the short loop that had run to the harbour front and interurban bus terminal at Bursatangi.  In 2006 it was noted that school special services had been extended to include Kirkjub°ur and Velbasta­ur to the west.  

The timetable issued in January 2007 showed little change to the operating pattern of the main services and for the first time full details of the school services (sk˙lalei­ 1 to 5) were included in the timetable booklet.  Fares were no longer charged permitting free travel for all passengers on all routes at all times as a deliberate policy to reduce car use and promote public transport. Tˇrshavn Kommuna (Municipality) hopes to create an environment in which the children of the town consider it perfectly natural that they take the bus, rather than their parents or friends driving them to and from school, sports practice or other free-time activities. The idea was also to investigate if this step could actually influence the thinking of children regarding travel when they reached the age of 18 and gained the right to drive a car themselves.

From March 2008 the Monday to Friday daytime timetable for routes 1, 2 and 3 was increased from half-hourly to a 20 minute frequency. This increased the base all-day requirement to nine vehicles for the three main routes, all provided by Mouritsens Bussar.  From August 2009 the town services were reduced in operating hours by the withdrawal of Sunday services and also the cessation of operations at 1400 hours on Saturday (re-extended to 1600 hours from July 2011). 





New Czech built SOR bus in Tˇrshavn July 2011
(as used on routes 1, 2, 3, 5E and 5V)

Volvo B12 LR260 of Gundurs Bussar used on the longer route 4
(its 'running mate' on the 4 is Volvo B12 KB638)
new SOR bus July 2011
Volvo B12 of Gundurs Bussar
A retendering exercise for the Busslei­in routes started in April 2010; this resulted in a 7-year contract being awarded from 1st April 2011 to a three-way consortium including Jˇn Thomasen of Kvivik, HZ Bussar of Streymnes and Gundurs Bussar of Signabour. A new fleet of buses would arrive but initially the vehicles of previous incumbent operator Mouritsens Bussar were used temporarily. Eight of the new SOR buses foreseen in the winning contract bid arrived in Tˇrshavn from the Czech Republic on 23rd May, with the other six soon after. Following a presentation to the public on 3rd July, the new buses were introduced into regular service on 4th July 2011 together with an enhanced timetable which included a new route 5 every two hours running across central Tˇrshavn from Kaldbak in the east to Velbasta­ur and Kirkjub°ur in the west. (Tˇrshavn municipality had further expanded to include these places). Journeys running westwards from Kaldbak are operated as route 5V ("vestur") and journeys running east from Kirkjub°ur are operated as route 5E ("eystur"). Further changes to this new timetable were soon introduced from 15th August 2011 with three of the journeys on 5V cut short to connect with route 2 at Hvitanes and similarly on route 5E with three of the journeys short running to connect with route 3 at Nor­asta Horn.  In total, there were 17 SOR buses on the Faroe Islands :  the 14 bought new in 2011 (CN 9,5) followed by one bought used from Denmark in 2013 (CN9,5 and in blue livery not red until 2019), and lastly two bought used from Denmark in 2019(city version BN 9,5).



The Busslei­in routes in operation from August 2011 (all routes run Monday to Friday daytime and evening; routes 1, 2 and 3 also Saturday daytime):

    1.        Hamarin - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Undir Brunni - Var­ag°ta - Sj˙krah˙s - Marknagil - Steinat˙n - SMS - Steinat˙n - Marknagil - Hamarin

    2.        Argir - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Hvitanes - Inni ß G°tu - Sundsvegur - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Argir

    3.        Nor­asta Horn - Landavegur - Steinat˙n - Sundsvegur - Millum Gilja - Litlagil - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Nor­asta Horn

    4.        Farst°­in / Steinat˙n - Signab°ur - Kollafj°r­ur (most outward journeys proceed via Sj˙krah˙s and Marknagil)

    5E      Kirkjub°ur - Velbasta­ur - Nor­asta Horn - Landavegur - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Hvitanes - Kaldbak (runs eastbound only)

    5V      Kaldbak - Hvitanes - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Landavegur - Nor­asta Horn - Velbasta­ur - Kirkjub°ur (runs westbound only)

                                      Routes 1, 2 and 3 have circular sections from Steinat˙n (the main town centre stop) as shown above

Buses used on the Tˇrshavn city routes in 2014 (all are of SOR manufacture except for two Volvo B12 with Gundurs Bussar)
   HZ Bussar:    HZ368   HZ386   HZ403   HZ476   HZ530
   Jˇn Thomasen:    AE570  AP893   BN954  FM854  MF221**  TM701   UB760   UV755     
   Gundurs Bussar:     GB292   GB450   GB738   GB839  -  also Volvos  KB638 and LR260
Pattern of operation (May 2014):
   route 1 (pvr 3 buses) HZ Bussar; route 2 (pvr 3 buses) Jˇn Thomasen; route 3 (pvr 3 buses) Gundurs Bussar;
   route 4 (pvr 2 buses) Gundurs Bussar; routes 5E and 5V (pvr 2 buses) one bus each HZ Bussar and Jˇn Thomasen
** MF221 was once in the blue livery of Bygdalei­ir for use on route 101 to the GamlarŠtt ferry (entirely within the Tˇrshavn municipality area).

A major revision of the Busslei­in routes from April 2019 reintroduced all day and evening operations seven days a week. The current network was revised from six routes to eight routes: (with a notional PVR of 15 buses):

1.    Hamarin - Sj˙krah˙s - Steinat˙n - SMS (Shopping Centre) - Klingran - Logmannabreyt - SMS - Steinat˙n - Sj˙krah˙s - Hamarin

2.    Nor­asta Horn - Steinat˙n (town centre) - Yviri vi­ Strond - Mi­lon Business Park - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Nor­asta Horn

3.    Argir - Marknagil - Steinat˙n - SMS - Hvitanes - SMS - Steinat˙n - Marknagil - Argir

4.    Millum Gilja - Undir Brunni - Var­ag°ta - Steinat˙n - SMS - Undir Brunni - Millum Gilja

5.    Marknagil - SMS - Steinat˙n - Vesturkirkjan - Marknagil (circular in one direction, schooldays only) 'Ringlei­in'

6.    Kirkjub°ur - Velbasta­ur - Nor­asta Horn - Landavegur - Steinat˙n -  Hvitanes - Kaldbak (Monday to Friday)

7.    Kollafj°r­ur - Signab°ur - Steinat˙n (Monday to Friday)

8.    Kollafj°r­ur - Signab°ur - Kaldbak - Steinat˙n - Velbasta­ur - Kirkjub°ur (Saturdays and Sunday, routes 6 and 7 combined)

From 22 July 2019 routes 2, 3 and 4 were partly rerouted on their way round the north of the city, with service to the residential area of Millum Gilja moved from route 4 to route 3 (as map below):

2.    Nor­asta Horn - Steinat˙n - Yviri vi­ Strond - Gundadalur - Yviri vi­ Strond - Steinat˙n - Nor­asta Horn

3.    Argir - Marknagil - Steinat˙n - SMS - Hvitanes - Millum Gilja - SMS - Steinat˙n - Marknagil - Argir

4.    Glasir - Steinat˙n -  SMS - Undir Brunni - Var­ag°ta - Dalavegur - Glasir (circular in one direction)

In 2019 agreements were signed with the Torshavn municipality for Gundurs Bussar to operate all of the city bus routes until 1st January 2022.  Their depot is in SlŠttanesgˇta, on the south western outskirts of Tˇrshavn.  The peak vehicle requirement PVR is fifteen buses on weekdays, five at weekends. The current fleet in February 2021 is tabled below, many of the vehicles being the same as in the 2014 fleet list above. Proprietor Gundur Johanneson received a badge of honour from Tˇrshavn municipality for providing a respectable and good bus service last year.

Buses in use on the Tˇrshavn city routes in 2021 (manufactured by SOR and Volvo)
SOR buses (new in 2011): AE570   AP893   BN954   FM854  GB292   GB450   GB738   GB839 
                                           HZ368   HZ386   HZ403   HZ476   HZ530   MF221  TM701   UB760    UV755 
Volvo:    GA403   LR260  -  both outstationed at Kollafj°r­ur for the lengthy route 7.
       

Map of the city bus routes in Torshavn 2020 by Renno Hokwerda
Torshavn bus map 2020 by Renno Hokwerda



SOR bus from the 2011 fleet renewal on Line 1 leaving Hamarin terminus, overlooking city and harbour
Line 1 leaving Hamarin, overlooking city and harbour



A further revision to the routes and times was introduced on 4th July 2022.  Route 2 is shortened and reduced to three trips an hour from four trips.  Gundadalur is now to be served by the 4 and not the 2.  Route 3 goes up to three trips an hour from two. Routes 4 and 5 are merged as circular route 4.  This will make it easier for residents in the HoyvÝk area to travel directly to the cityĺs west end.  Out of town routes 6 and 7 are renumbered 5 and 6, and weekend route 8 is renumbered 7 but is reduced to Saturday only, no Sunday service.

Gundars Bussar were expected to have their operating contract renewed from 2023 to 2031 but this did not happen. As part of a new nine year contract starting 27 December 2022 between the city council and HZ Bussar fifteen new Iveco Crossway LE diesel buses have been purchased. These bear the appropriate registrations HZ1 to HZ15 and were delivered in January 2023. As at February 2023 Volvos LR260 and GA403 as well as SORs FM854 and HZ530 were still to be seen helping out on routes 5 and 6. A further Crossway diesel bus HZ16 was obtained in May 2023 for the long route 6 to Kollafj°r­ur, where it is based.  The number of seats was increased for passnenger comfort over the greater distance.

Tˇrshavn City Council has pledged to convert its entire city bus fleet to electric by 2027 and in May 2023 two Heuliez GX137 electric buses came for route 4 which has the fewest slopes. These are HZ17 and HZ18 and they went into service on 1st June. The council will be in regular consultation with the operator about how to reach the zero-emission city bus objective by 2027.

One of the SOR buses (HZ476) has been brought back to its home country for preservation by the Czech public transport magazine "Ceskoslovensky Dopravak" (www.cs-dopravak.cz)

Iveco Crossway buses for Torshavn delivered January 2023
Travel on the city buses has been free since January 2007
Iveco buses for Torshavn 2023

With many thanks to Bil of Tˇrshavn for the use of their pictures of days gone by
and to Renno Hokwerda and John Veerkamp for current information.
Renno made the 2020 map in English above of the Torshavn city routes.

Busslei­in er ein třdningarmikil bindili­ur millum h°vu­ssta­in og bygdirnar Ý Tˇrshavnar kommunu. Sjey busslei­ir r°kja samfer­sluna Ý kommununi. Bussarnir eru bŠ­i lŠttir og umhv°rvisvinarligir, og allar sjey lei­ir eru ˇkeypis at br˙ka.



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