By James Durcan (Union President)
On 23rd August 2018, First Bus announced its 2018/19 University fares and timetable changes ahead of the start of the new term. See here for this announcement.
During my election campaign, I made addressing rising student costs a key priority. Having made significant progress over the summer by highlighting the impact of hidden course costs and rising accommodation fees to the University, I would like to make the following statement in response to the announcement made by First:
‘It is extremely disappointing that students will face an increase in bus fares. Having clearly conveyed to First the impact this will have on our students, University staff and the City of York and the criticism that they will open themselves up to, they have taken the commercial decision to raise fares.
First have listened to the concerns raised by students regarding services running to the York Sport Village. This has resulted in reverting back to running early morning and late evening buses. Improvements to the morning express service (66X) from the station direct to University as well as the fact that the Night Service (N66) will now be operating every 15 mins are further examples of positive changes which are to be introduced following consultation with YUSU, the GSA, and the student body.
I would encourage students to bulk purchase trips on the Yorkey Cards or via the mTicket App where possible as this will prove by far the cheapest way to travel. By moving away from purchasing tickets on board, users will significantly improve the speed and reliability of the service, a positive improvement which I’m sure all will welcome.
Over the upcoming year, I will be working closely with students to put more pressure on First to deliver a better service. In response to the recent changes, it is important that students make their voice heard by sending feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that the company is aware of the impact of these changes on its customers.’