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Councillors at a West Yorkshire Integrated Transport
Authority (WYITA) Executive Board meeting have agreed that Metro
will investigate ways of keeping a Leeds city centre shuttle bus
running, after Leeds City Council's withdrawal of funding for the
"This is a valuable service which has been used by over
7½ million passengers since we introduced it in January
2006," said Metro Vice Chairman Cllr Ryk Downes.
"Many people have indicated that they would be prepared to pay a
small charge to use the service so rather than lose it, I think it
is important we should investigate how this might be put in
"The FreeCityBus was introduced as a quick and easy way of
getting around Leeds city centre and the time taken to collect
fares, issue tickets and give change could slow it down to the
point where for many people it would no longer be an attractive
option," continued Cllr Downes.
"However with an exact-money-only, flat-rate fare, it may be
possible to continue running a MetroCityBus service around a city
centre loop without slowing it down too much and at no extra cost
Metro will continue discussions with bus operators about running
the service for a trial period from the start of April while the
impact of introducing a small, yet-to-be-decided, fare can be
Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves said research had shown that
by providing frequent links between rail stations, bus stations and
key city centre locations the FreeCityBus encouraged people to
leave their cars at home and use connecting trains and buses
instead, which helped limit congestion on the city's roads.
He also said that people with mobility problems, older people
and parents with young children had reported that they found the
services particularly useful.