A date has been set and a route determined for a free city centre shuttle bus which will come to Bradford in three months.

The six-month trial of Metro's FreeCityBus service will begin on Monday, September 29, and the route will link the Interchange, Forster Square, Kirkgate shopping centre, the markets, Centenary Square, the University and College and the National Media Museum.

Three buses will operate ten minutes apart on the 30-minute, three-mile route which has 14 stops.

Passengers will be able to hop on and off the branded buses between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 5.30pm on Saturdays, with space for 26 passengers seated and 19 standing with one space for wheelchair users.

If the trial period is successful the service will continue with Bradford Council meeting 50 per cent of the running costs, and Metro, the operating name of the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, making up the rest.

It will cost the Council more than £100,000 a year to run the shuttle service, although sponsorship could ease the financial burden. Bradford College and the University of Bradford have already signed up to sponsor a bus each, and discussion are ongoing for the third vehicle.

Councillor Chris Greaves, Metro's spokesman for Bradford, said: "The service will be plugged on trains and at both stations as well as bus stops.

"An awful lot of work has gone in to determining the route and trying to pick out the key elements of the city. It will be a living service - it will have to change as the city centre changes through regeneration. This has to fit what people want."

In February senior councillors agreed to go ahead with the trial after delaying the decision six months earlier, claiming that the city's regeneration had not progressed far enough. The service already operates in Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield to great success with 250,000 passengers using the Leeds buses in the first few months.

The diesel vehicles will be covered in red, white and blue FreeCityBus branding and will be operated by First Bradford.

Last month the Telegraph & Argus reported how transport bosses issued a "use it or lose it" warning to passengers, saying if not enough people use the service it will be pulled after the trial.

In March 2009 its success will be evaluated against criteria that includes the condition that at least an average of ten passengers must use the service on every round trip. Bus manufacturer Optare is to supply three new Solo vehicles for the service.