A new range of tickets for under 19s was introduced from Sunday 25 July by the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, a partnership between the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and bus operators, aimed at helping Yorkshire’s young people to get out and about and reduce the cost of travel when they return to education in September.
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has committed to improving bus services. The new fares deal is said to offer an opportunity to obtain even better value for the public subsidy of young people’s bus fares. Single tickets will be revised with just three fares set at 60p, £1.20 or £1.80 based on the distance travelled. A MyDay pass will cost from £2.25 for a day’s travel on any bus at any time, with bigger savings for those who buy it in a bundle of three, five or 10 separate days of travel. A MyWeek ticket will offer under-19s a week’s travel for £9 and a MyMonth pass will cost £35.
The Mayor said: “I am delighted to be able to launch the Under 19 Fare Deal. I was elected on a pledge to introduce simpler and cheaper tickets, and today’s launch is a real step in the right direction and will benefit young people across the region. As we begin to recover from the pandemic, our young people must be at the very forefront of our minds. Not only do cheaper fares mean better value, but these changes can also act as a gateway to secure better jobs, better opportunities and brighter futures.”
West Yorkshire’s transport leaders welcomed the move as a positive step to encourage young people to travel across the region. Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, said: “I’m delighted that these new tickets are being introduced through our alliance with the county’s bus operators. The new fares will offer outstanding value and real freedom to travel across West Yorkshire. The ability to travel freely across West Yorkshire is vitally important to our young people as they develop social skills and prepare for adulthood – and will also support many less well-off families who are facing financial challenges beyond the pandemic.”
First West Yorkshire Managing Director Paul Matthews said: “As active members of our alliance of bus operators, we share the same desire to encourage more young people to choose and use the bus to travel safely around our region. Working together, we are delivering these new fares and tickets from MCard quickly, so that young people can enjoy the benefits of being able to travel freely across West Yorkshire straight away.”
Arriva Yorkshire Area Managing Director Patrick Sibley added: “The new under-19 tickets are the result of strong partnerships across our alliance of bus operators, which is working right now to deliver real benefits for all of West Yorkshire’s bus users. Our experience of working together throughout the pandemic underlines the importance to us of giving young people the help they need to travel across West Yorkshire. I’m sure these new fares and MCard tickets will prove immensely popular with under 19s.”
Transdev in Yorkshire CEO Alex Hornby said: “Throughout the pandemic we have worked together through our successful alliance of bus operators to deliver stable and reliable services for key workers, school pupils, students and others who depend on us every day. As we look to recover from the pandemic without increasing road congestion and pollution, and at a time when we are expanding our network within West Yorkshire to create new travel opportunities, we will continue working together to quickly deliver real improvements and attract more people to choose and use the bus.”