First and the City of York Council have celebrated 20 years of Park & Ride services in the city.
On November 5, 1994, First began operating Park & Ride bus services from Grimston Bar and Askham Bar. Over 20 years the service has grown to six sites carrying over four million passengers a year. The latest developments include the opening of two new sites in June this year at Askham Bar and Poppleton Bar. Customers using the new Poppleton Bar site can take advantage of a fully electric fleet and free on-board WiFi.
As well as being one of the first operators to provide simple and convenient smart-card payment, First also introduced bendy-buses to increase capacity as the Park & Ride service became more popular.
Will Pearson, Business Manager for First in York, said: “We’re proud to celebrate 20 years of successful partnership with City of York Council serving our customers. The continuing growth of Park & Ride services is testament to the dedication of all our team that have served customers over these two decades, in particular our manager Peter McCarthy who has been involved from the start. We look forward to continuing to welcome more customers onto the Park & Ride services and further partnership working with City of York Council to support the local economy and deliver low-carbon, great value travel options.”
Cllr David Levene, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “York has one of the best Park & Ride services in the country, which is a real testament to how well the service is run and managed in partnership with First.
“Our renowned services are not only recognised by high passenger numbers but by Government who invested a 70% share of £22.7m funding to help open two new Park & Ride sites this year, extending our portfolio of sites to six across York.
“Through these ongoing bus improvements across the city and our strong partnership working with all bus operators including First, our aim is to encourage even more people to travel by bus and increase passenger numbers by 18% by 2015.”