Backing for West Yorkshire Bus Alliance confirmed
14 January 2019
Friday's meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee confirmed its backing for a new West Yorkshire Bus Alliance with bus companies including Arriva, First and Transdev.
Quicker journeys, easy-to-understand and affordable fares for people of all ages more free Wi-Fi, better travel advice and journey planning and further progress towards carbon-free services are among the commitments bus operators and the Combined Authority will make to deliver for local people.
Lasting through to 2021, the Alliance will be based on legal provisions recently introduced by the government for Voluntary Partnership Agreements. These agreements are defined by the Department for Transport as agreements entered into by transport authorities and bus operators, to deliver benefits to local bus users.
The West Yorkshire Bus Alliance has the objectives of putting customers at the heart of services, keeping buses moving and a sustainable bus network. Commitments include the development of a clearly identifiable brand, a simple fares structure, consistent customer service, further highway improvements to reduce journey times and the continued introduction of clean bus technology.
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: "As councillors, all of us hear about issues people have using buses and trains. This Alliance is an opportunity for us to work with West Yorkshire bus operators to address and overcome those problems within the legislative framework available to us."
"Our overall aim is to increase the number of people in West Yorkshire using local bus services, which helps reduce the environmental and economic costs of congestion. This two-year Alliance will be an opportunity to implement measures that ensuring a stable, affordable, reliable and punctual services that people can rely on."
At the meeting Dwayne Wells, Head of Commercial for Arriva said: "We are delighted to take Bus18 forward. As an alliance we have a huge target, which is to increase patronage by 25% and our commitment, alongside other operators and West Yorkshire Combined Authority will see both an increase in investment in bus services and resources."
Brandon Jones, Head of External Relations for First said: "We fully support the commitment being proposed and we are proud of the achievements the Bus18 partnership has delivered for customers. Building on its progress we can improve services further and ensure that bus services across the region remain sustainable."
Paul Turner, Head of Commercial Development for Transdev said: "Since the start of Bus18 we've been extremely proud of everything we've been able to achieve, particularly engaging with young people and welcoming more on to our buses. We are keen to see this alliance develop to ensure communities across West Yorkshire thrive under the program."
The new West Yorkshire Bus Alliance will build upon the successes of the Combined Authority, Arriva, First and Transdev's Bus18 initiative.
Among the success of Bus18 were the introduction of the popular 'go anywhere' MyDay ticket for Under 19s, the investment of £23 million in new, cleaner buses and £1 million into alleviating bus congestion hotspots and more flexibility around the need for under 19s to prove their age to get cheaper fares.
Also, as a result of Bus18, passengers not happy with their bus journeys can now claim a free travel voucher from either; First, Arriva or Transdev by contacting the appropriate operator and bus companies have guaranteed to operate the last bus of the day, or pay for taxis if it doesn't run.
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