Will First really reduce their bus fares?

30 01 2013

First have announced that they will be holding a consultation on bus fares in the Bristol area. The wish of all bus users is surely to see fare prices reduced and the pricing structure streamlined, as requested in this online petition which has now gained almost 3,000 signatures.

A good example to follow would be their sister company’s train prices. An off-peak return from all stations along the Severn Beach line to Bristol Temple Meads costs £2. A single costs £1.50.

In a statement yesterday, however, First regional managing director for the South West and Wales, Justin Davies, was already batting away accusations of fares being too high and justifying the prices.

Rather than welcoming the consultation and predicting lower fares (granted, an unlikely thing to do), he seemed to see the consultation as an opportunity to inform passengers about “the economics of running buses and the cost pressures we face”.

He said: “We are aware that the issue of fares in Bristol has often been a contentious one with a perception that the cost of travel here is significantly higher than elsewhere. This is frustrating for everyone and is something we have wished to tackle for some time.

“We want to heighten awareness about the industry and allow people to better understand the economics of running buses and the cost pressures we face.

“In return we want to hear from the public and their representatives, in particular what they think we could do differently to both attract more people on to buses and deliver the best possible value for money for our customers.”

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2 responses

30 01 2013
gavinspittlehouse

Let’s do a deal with First. Council pays for more bus lanes and proper enforcement of them, and for an oyster card system that can be used across all public transport (and maybe more?)
In return First commits to more buses and a cap on charges.

2 02 2013
Schneider

How can you cut costs and increase usage? Here’s a revolutionary idea: introduce a cash-less (or less preferably, change-less) ticketing system. It reduce journey times and make the whole experience smoother.

Or perhaps what First are really asking is: how can we improve the service/reduce cost WITHOUT investment and WITHOUT upsetting anyone.

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