New ‘Fare Deal for Young People’s West Yorkshire bus travel proposed
Under 19s will be guaranteed they will pay no more than £1.20 for a single bus journey
Plans for what its Chair Cllr Kim Groves has called a “Fare Deal for Young People,” will be discussed at next week’s meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee.
Under the proposals, Under 19s will be guaranteed that they will pay no more than £1.20 for a single bus journey throughout the county under a new simplified single fare structure. If approved next week, the formal process to finalise the new scheme and set up a simpler fare structure will be initiated and detailed proposals will be presented to May’s Transport Committee meeting.
It is proposed that the new Fare Deal scheme will be introduced at the end of the current academic year, when young people’s existing term-time tickets are set to expire and just in time for the start of the summer holidays.
Relaxing the rules
To encourage young people who don’t regularly use the bus , from April, the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance is relaxing the rules so that young people will only need to show identification to prove their age to enjoy travel discounts if they look older than 19. This is in addition to the previous initiative which meant that young people wearing school uniform were not be required to show any form of identification.
Cllr Groves, who Chairs the Bus Alliance as well as the Combined Authority Transport Committee said: “Travel and its costs has been shown to be a barrier to young people accessing training and employment so we need to be doing all we can to make our local buses and trains affordable to them.
“We have spent a lot of time speaking to them and what they have told us is they want to fairer and simpler fares right across West Yorkshire, which is what this new, Fare Deal scheme has been designed to achieve.
“The Combined Authority extended discretionary young people’s half-fare concessions from Under 17s to Under 19s in 2016 but the benefits are not uniform across West Yorkshire area as bus fares and season ticket prices vary between operators. Through the new scheme, the Combined Authority will only reimburse bus companies for the sale of Fare Deal tickets.
“This new framework will show us clearly how the £9 million the West Yorkshire Combined Authority spends every year on young people’s concessions is being used and the effect it has on patronage in that age group, which in recent years has bucked an overall decline in bus use and has risen.
“Building on this growth and encouraging more young people to choose the bus for travel also helps us and them achieve our aims of tackling climate change by reducing traffic congestion and the pollution it causes.
“If my Transport Committee colleagues support the scheme, under 19s across West Yorkshire will be able to start enjoying the new Fare Deal this summer.”
Next week’s Transport Committee meeting takes place at 11am on Friday 13 March at Wellington House, 40-50 Wellington Street, Leeds. It is a public meeting, and all are welcome.