22 July 2022
Plans for cheaper and simplified bus fares, new bus routes, improved services, and an improved bus travel experience moved a step closer today following a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Members agreed that a formal notice of an Enhanced Partnership Scheme with bus operators can now be published. The Enhanced Partnership is a key part of the West Yorkshire Bus Service Improvement plan (BSIP). It enables the Combined Authority to work closely with operators to implement a range of enhancements.
Bus operators also can now give feedback on the full details in the Enhanced Partnership Scheme document and work can also begin with operators to implement the proposals for cheaper bus fares. These would mean no single journey costs more than £2 and the total cost of a day's bus travel in the region would be a maximum of £4.50, with the introduction of a tap in, tap out, fare-capped scheme.
West Yorkshire’s BSIP aims to encourage more people in the region to travel by bus and enhance transport connectivity. The plan seeks to reduce average bus journey times by 5% in the next four years, and by 10% by 2030 by enabling buses to move through traffic more freely. It also aims to improve bus punctuality to 90% by March 2025 (from 82% in March 2019). These improvements are planned to increase bus usage by 6% by 2025.
The BSIP will include a new passenger charter. This includes a journey satisfaction guarantee which means if passengers are not happy with the service, they receive their money back or their next journey for free. The charter will include a ‘last journey promise.’ where, if the final bus service of the day on a route is late or cancelled, taxi fares will be reimbursed.
Commenting, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:
“I am delighted that our ambitious plans to radically improve West Yorkshire’s bus services have taken another step forward today.
“The Enhanced Partnership plays a vital role in these and will mean we can continue working closely with the region’s bus operators to make these plans a reality and implement cheaper bus fares.
“We want buses to be the first choice for travel in West Yorkshire - not because people don’t have a car, but because buses are more affordable, convenient to use, and better for the environment.
“And we need to improve West Yorkshire’s bus services to connect communities to education, training and job opportunities and the major improvements we plan will help us deliver this.
“I am looking forward to continuing our work with the region’s bus operators and making even greater progress”.