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Each year Metro spends £1.1m on 50p rail journeys and
£40m on free off-peak bus travel for the over 60s through the
English National Concessionary scheme.
Faced with having to make a further £9m of budget cuts on
top of the significant savings it has already made, the West
Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority took the decision in the
summer to change the 50p rail fare to a half fare.
Changing the 50p fare to a half fare would still leave the cost
of some of the longest possible journeys in West Yorkshire, such as
a return from Keighley to South Elmsall and back, at just £3,
while a Concessionary Train DayRover - providing unlimited off-peak
travel right across the West Yorkshire network - costs only
£3.10. Meanwhile more typical journeys such as Garforth to
Leeds or Dewsbury to Huddersfield would cost £1.60
"We have already made significant reductions in our own
accommodation and staffing costs but because we have already been
delivering the high standards of the other Passenger Transport
Executives at a lower cost with fewer staff for some years, has
made finding savings in our own operation more difficult," said
Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis at the time.
"We have tried to do this in ways that will minimise the impact
upon local people, and off-peak bus travel for people over 60 will
of course remain free.
"However, with northern councils, including the West Yorkshire
districts, bearing the lion's share of the Government's spending
cuts, we have no option but to press ahead with finding these
further spending cuts."