BYGDALEIÐIR

The Faroese country bus network  (the blue buses)

 Bláuir bussar

  faroes flag






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


Hendan síðan vísur gamlar tíðarætlanir og ikki tær ið eru galdandi nú.
        Denne side viser gamle køreplaner og ikke de aktuelle tider.




Working in close co-ordination with the inter-island ferries to provide an integrated public transport network, the blue buses of Bygdaleiðir connect the towns and villages of this island nation.  Most of the transport provision in earlier years had been provided by (usually small) commercial operators, but from 1980 onwards the government sponsored network of Bygdaleiðir country buses started to develop and progessively assume the responsibility for running the various routes, although the actual operation was most often sub-contracted to private operators.  The 1981 timetable shows the Bygdaleiðir routes on Streymoy as Tórshavn - Kvivik - Vestmanna, Tórshavn - Kirkjubøur and Kvivik - Skæling. On the island of Sandoy the Bygdaleiðir routes were from Skopun to Sand and Skálavik; Skopun to Dalur and Húsavik; and to Skarvanes. The buses from Tórshavn to Køllafjorður, Hvalvík, Saksun, Haldarsvík, Tjørnuvík, Eiði and Gjógv remained privately operated for a few years more, as did those on Eysturoy and the southern island of Suðuroy.

Bygdaleiðir is the generic fleet name for the interurban bus operations and simply means "Village Routes".  This network of buses and ferries is operated on behalf of the Faroese government by Strandfaraskip Landsins (SL).  The principal routes include the 100 and 300 linking the capital Tórshavn with Vestmanna and (until 2002 and the opening of a tunnel) across the ferry to Vagar and the Airport; and the 400 from Tórshavn to Leirvik and (until 2006 and the opening of a tunnel) the ferry to the second largest town in the Faroe Islands, Klaksvik.  On its journey the 400 interconnects with nine other routes to various parts of Eysturoy island.  The buses have been provided at different periods both by private contractors (often small operators with only one bus) and directly by the SL Bussar part of the Bygdaleiðir fleet owned by SL itself.  The direct operation was primarily a development of the early 1990s following the withdrawal from bus operation of one of the largest fleet operators (p/f Bil) based in the capital Tórshavn.   The town buses in Tórshavn are operated by the municipalty using the fleet name Bussleiðin with vehicles provided by sub-contractors.



This picture was taken in Tórshavn in 1992 and shows two typical
Bygdaleiðir Volvo buses (and me!). They were operated by the former
principal contractor p/f Bil who now once again only operate taxis.
 
Adult single ticket 50 krone (1998)
     
me_and102   ticket



Two door Volvo of p/f Bil on the Bygdaleiðir service to Vestmanna, believed to be in the early 1980s
photo from the Bil of Tórshavn collection
early days on bygdaleidir



A tunnel opened and thus there was a change to the route network for services 100 and 300 which took place on 10th December 2002. The opening of the new under sea road tunnel linked the islands of Streymoy and Vagar.  Buses now run through between the airport and the capital Tórshavn and the ferry service between Vestmanna and Oyrargjójv (route 30 on the map below) was withdrawn on the same date.  Whilst you save the ferry fare on the journey you now have to pay a passenger toll to pass through the tunnel - this is the first toll tunnel in the Faroes.

This map shows the SL network of Bygdaleiðir bus and ferry routes as they were in 2000.

map_2000


The first fares increase on the SL network for ten years was announced at the end of January 2003.  The network was then subsidised by the government by 60 million kronur a year as the income from selling tickets does not cover the cost of running the service.  Fares rose by about ten per cent, and the average price of most bus and ferry tickets became around 40 kronur each.

On 30th April 2006 a new undersea road tunnel from Leirvik to Klaksvik was opened and bus route 400 extended to operate throughout from Tórshavn to Klaksvik, with Fuglafjørður now served by new route 410 from there to Klaksvik.  The ferry from Leirvik to Klaksvik (route 50 on the map) ceased operation on 7th May.

The story of the Bygdaleiðir buses in more recent times is continued on this webpage.




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