Travel to be made easier for Under 19s with the ‘Fare Deal for Young People’

The West Yorkshire Bus Alliance scheme will be discussed at next week’s Transport Committee meeting

A ‘Fare Deal for Young People’ to ensure bus travel is as affordable as possible for under-19s has been developed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance.  

The scheme aims to make bus travel more affordable for under 19s and it is hoped that it will encourage more young people to travel by bus as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Fare Deal scheme has been championed by Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the Transport Committee, and is a key output from the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance. It is proposed that the Fare Deal will comprise of the following:  

  • Simple fares for under 19s – a simplified single fare system and a “go anywhere” day ticket so that young people know how much it costs to take the bus 
  • Savings for regular travellers – discounts for young people buying weekly and monthly tickets 
  • Welcoming young people –drivers will only ask for proof of age where the customer looks older than 19 
  • Discounts for 19-25 year olds  - cheaper weekly and monthly tickets for anyone under 25 

Under the proposals, to be discussed at the next meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, a new simplified “hop, skip, jump” fare system will be introduced where most single journeys will cost no more than £1.20 and MyDay tickets will give unlimited travel on any bus all day for £2.50. The new fares will be introduced as soon as COVID restrictions are lifted in early 2021.   

To encourage young people who don’t regularly use the bus, the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance relaxed the rules so that young people 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 West Yorkshire Bus Alliance and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: 

“We know that the cost of travel can be a barrier for young people when accessing training and employment opportunities and as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic it is going to be vital that bus services are affordable to encourage young people back on board.  

“We have spent a lot of time speaking to young people and they have told us that they want access to fairer and simpler fares right across West Yorkshire, which is what this new, Fare Deal scheme has been designed to achieve. 

“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.” 

Patrick Sibley, Area Managing Director of Arriva Yorkshire, said:  

“We are supportive of the Fare Deal for Young People initiative and see this as another great example of Arriva and Bus Operators in West Yorkshire working in partnership with Combined Authority, to improve the public transport offering for our local communities.” 

Martin Hirst, Commercial Director of First West Yorkshire, said: 

“This again shows that Alliance members are listening to the thousands of young customers we serve every day and creating tickets and fares that better match their travel needs. Journeys will be simpler and seamless with this new scheme and I’m confident we’ll see more young people coming to bus as their natural choice of transport.” 

Alex Hornby, CEO at Transdev, said: 

“We really believe in making the bus a desirable choice for our younger customers, not just through making the bus an attractive product to use, with friendly drivers to make all feel welcome, but by making ticketing as simple as possible.  

“Our collaborative work alongside Alliance partners in understand the needs of younger customers has translated into better, value for money, ticketing range for both regular and one-off journeys – and which will grow demand for buses at this critical time.” 

Next week’s Transport Committee meeting takes place at 11am on Friday 20 November. The agenda and papers for the meeting can be found here.