By Chelsey Ward
BUS USERS in Leeds are facing a price hike in fares from tomorrow (Sunday, October 16).
James Senior, 22, a teaching assistant from Leeds, is a regular passenger on First buses and relies on them to get to and from the school where he works.
He said: “I think it’s ridiculous, we are now being charged more for a service which isn’t reliable.
“There have been many occasions the bus has been more than 20 minutes late. I think they need to assess these issues before making any changes.”
However, First said the increases are necessary after fares have remained unchanged for nearly two years.
Single fares will rise by 10p – when tickets are purchased on the bus, some return fares will also see a rise when purchased from driver.
Day tickets -currently £4.20 – will rise by 20p and weekly tickets will see a 50p increase to £15.50.
However, the £20 West Yorkshire weekly pass, along with both monthly and annual tickets will remain the same price.
First also confirmed that customers who use the mobile Ticket app will not see fares increase. When accessing the ticket app all prices are frozen.
Paul Turner, head of commercial at First Leeds said: “We have worked hard to keep any increases to a minimum, but from time-to-time, we need to review our fares to meet the rising costs that we face as a business.
“Travel by First Bus still offers great value for money, and we have focused on keeping weekly, monthly and annual passes as affordable as possible.
“Looking forward we’ll continue to invest in improving services for our customers including using customer feedback to drive network developments, and provide high quality services, at great value.”
Chloe Warburton, 21, a student at Leeds Beckett University who lives in Headingley, is concerned about the fares increase.
She said: “I completely understand some of the reasoning behind increasing fares, but I don’t think students have been taken into consideration when the decision was being made. It’s costly for many of us already.”
Ray Wilkes, from the West and North Yorkshire Campaign for Better Transport said: “The reasoning behind the increase in price is that it takes too long for people to board the bus, if people used the ticket app, it would reduce time and this would also decrease fare, however, using the app is an issue for those who don’t have a smart phone.”