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Big bus fares shake-up
MANY York bus fares are to be cut as one of the city’s main operators attempts to attract more regular passengers.
Prices for weekly, monthly and annual tickets on First services will fall by up to 25 per cent, with the company saying the decision follows feedback from passengers on how its York business operates. The new fares start on September 29, the same day as a string of changes to First’s network following a summer consultation and review.
Some single-ticket prices will increase, with rises capped at 20p, while others will fall by up to 70p. The company said the new system would benefit people who regularly used its services.
Passengers buying annual tickets will save more than £140, while weekly and monthly tickets have been reduced by £4 and £9 respectively.
A new “short hop” £1 minimum single fare will be introduced and day ticket prices will be frozen at £3.70.
First did not provide full details of which single ticket prices would increase or decrease, but said passengers whose usual single fare costs more will save money through buying a different form of ticket.
City of York Council said the lower fares would help its plans to reduce congestion and air pollution.
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, who has previously raised concerns about changes to some First services, also welcomed the announcement but said more still needed to be done to improve the city’s bus network.
Ben Gilligan, managing director for First in York, said: “These significant fare cuts are great news for York. In the summer, we talked extensively to our customers and partners in York and have listened to what they said.
“Value for money was one of the major points raised, and with this range of fares, we are giving new and existing customers the chance to save money when they use First buses on a regular basis.”
Mr Gilligan said passengers who planned ahead would benefit most, and a “simplified single fares structure” would be published.
He said this followed several network changes – including improved links to Front Street in Acomb, more journeys between Haxby and the city centre and extra morning buses to York Station – and recently introduced lower fares for children, 16 to 18-year-olds and students.
“We are working closely with the council on the introduction of new bus priority schemes and the recent closure of Lendal Bridge, and now is the ideal time for people in York to give the bus a go,” Mr Gilligan said.
Coun Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “This is excellent news for all existing and potential new bus customers in York, demonstrating the benefits of a bus company working with the council and the communities they serve.”
Mr Sturdy said he was “really pleased” by the fare cuts and believed the network changes would help many residents.
However, he said: “The problems with York’s bus services are not over yet and I believe our bus services should be able to react to meet the needs of residents.”
First's new fares - from Sunday, September 29
• York FirstWeek tickets reduced from £16 to £12
• York FirstMonth tickets reduced from £53 to £44 and will cover a calendar month, rather than a four-week period
• YorkFirstAnnual tickets reduced from £583 to £440
• New minimum single fare of £1.
• York FirstDay tickets frozen at £3.70.
All single, day and week tickets can be bought from First drivers on each service.
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