First wins York University bus contract

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First York has been successful in winning a five-year contract to operate the University of York’s bus services from August this year. The contract award was made following a highly competitive tender process.

The newly named UoY66 high frequency service will run from August 2 between York Railway Station, the city centre and into the University and to York Sport Village via Lakeside Way. The contract includes First providing the University’s free shuttle bus Ub1, which will run every 30 minutes using electric vehicle as well as the late night clubbers’ bus and early morning university to hospital service.

The partnership includes First providing a brand new service, the UoY56 to complement the UoY66, which will serve the University and Kings Manor. It will provide a city centre loop including shops and the railway station, capturing for all of the main bus hubs before returning to the University. These services will be integrated into the First York local bus network.

First has committed to running a premium UoY66 service with Euro 6 and Euro 5 hybrid buses equipped with WiFi and the safety tool ‘Cycle Alert.’ The drivers will wear a bespoke new uniform which will be part of a new brand that will be adopted across the bus fleet and information channels.

The UoY66 service will provide nine buses per hour Monday to Saturday daytime and every 20 minutes evening and Sundays supported by additional Q-Buster bus services if needed during weekdays.

The new integrated services will give staff and students access to the whole of the York network. First added that customers can take advantage of mobile ticketing as well as a range of student tickets. First has also announced that students will benefit from a new 20-trip £17 smartcard ticket, available on the ‘Yorkey Card.’

Ben Gilligan, MD for First in York, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen to be the University’s official transport partner. First has a great track record of delivering high quality, reliable services and we look forward to working together with the University to further improve the quality of the transport solutions for staff and students.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, Professor Koen Lamberts, said: “The University is committed to promoting sustainable travel and transport. We are, therefore, extremely pleased to work with First to facilitate an efficient, sustainable and integrated University bus service for students, staff, visitors and members of the community.”