Cheaper bus travel may be on the way for young people across West Yorkshire.
For it can be revealed that bus bosses are thinking of introducing a special discounted ticket for them.
As part of the Bus 18 initiative to improve journeys for bus users across West Yorkshire, it is proposed to introduce a discounted “go anywhere” day ticket for young people.
Bus 18 was launched in March this year with the backing of major bus operators Arriva, First and Transdev as well as the Association of Bus operators in West Yorkshire and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which includes councillors from Kirklees.
Details of the discounted ticket for young people are yet to be announced, but Clr Keith Wakefield, transport chair for the combined authority welcomed the proposals.
He said: “Encouraging more young people to use buses is one of our key aims and the proposals for an affordable day ticket that they would be able to use to go anywhere across West Yorkshire is an essential initiative.”
Among other Bus 18 initiatives, new and improved information displays are being rolled out to West Yorkshire’s 14,000 bus shelters and bus stops from this month. The new design includes a clearer presentation of bus times, a map showing stops along the route and journey times and operator branding to make it easier for customers to identify the service for which they are waiting.
In July the combined authority approved £1m of funding for West Yorkshire’s five districts to work on schemes to tackle congestion at 28 “bus hotspots” around the county. The work, due to be complete by March, 2019 will involve modifying junctions to improve reliability and punctuality of bus journeys on key routes.
Other measures have included introducing a new smart MCard Daysaver ticket and the launch of an MCard app for Android phone users. MCard is a smartcard that allows bus and rail travellers to load the card with the travel ticket that best suits their needs.
Ecostar ratings are being displayed on buses to show their environmental performance and bus operators are rolling out plans to buy and run cleaner vehicles. Bus operators have also introduced a “no quibble” approach to compensating passengers when things go wrong.
Clr Wakefield said: “Good transport underpins economic growth, investment and job creation and with over 3.5 million bus journeys made in West Yorkshire each week, or 180 million per year, West Yorkshire’s buses are a vital part of our network.
“Bus passengers have told us about the improvements they want to see and I am pleased to be working with bus operators through Bus 18 to make these improvements.”