First targets more passenger growth
First has recently announced a package of reduced fares including cuts of nearly 30% on Leeds and Bradford bus services that will take effect from 5 January 2014. The fare cuts could save regular bus users over £250 per year. The announcement follows last week’s news that it has experienced patronage growth in West Yorkshire, with an extra 100,000 a week boarding its services. Passenger Focus, the independent public body set up by the Government to protect the interests of England’s bus passengers, has welcomed the announcement.
In Leeds the £3.90 off-peak day ticket will be extended for use all day giving tens of thousands of morning commuters a saving of 70p per day. Additionally, a new Leeds weekly ticket will be introduced at £14 giving seven days of unlimited travel within the city’s metropolitan district boundary for £2 per day, a saving of £5.50 per week for many of the area’s commuters. The new Leeds weekly ticket will replace the ‘Green Zone’ week fare that is limited to inner Leeds, and now gives those customers access to the whole First Leeds network for 50p extra per week. Alternatively, current Green Zone customers can buy a new Leeds-wide monthly ticket for £52, which offers a saving on buying the current Green Zone tickets. In Bradford, customers can take advantage of a £1 cut to the week ticket to only £14 whilst at the same time the city’s day ticket will rise to £3.90 from £3.70. Customers who choose to use the bus more often can take advantage of reduced monthly and annual ticket prices in both cities.
Regional MD for First in the North of England, Dave Alexander, said, ‘We are delighted to introduce these latest fare cuts on buses in Leeds and Bradford. We have demonstrated that by offering even better value for money, together with improvements to our services, we can attract new passengers onto our buses. The level of these fare cuts in Leeds and Bradford have been made possible because of growing confidence in our stronger partnership working with Metro and the local councils. Our aim in 2014 is to continue to give value for money to our customers and to build upon improvements in punctuality and customer satisfaction which will be helped by further investment in new vehicles.’