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Mayor reveals plans to slash West Yorkshire bus fares and invest in new routes

11 May 2022

Passengers boarding any West Yorkshire bus from September would pay no more than £2 per journey under proposals announced by Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire today (Wednesday 11 May). As well as single fares, the multi-operator WY DaySaver tickets available through the MCard app and smartcard will be reduced from £5.50 to £4.50 from September.

Funding for new bus routes to reconnect as many communities as possible left isolated by service changes over recent years will also be made available. The proposals build on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s revised Bus Service Improvement Plan, submitted to the Department for Transport earlier this month.

The new £2 maximum fare will be negotiated with the bus operators through the new West Yorkshire Enhanced Partnership, which started on 1 April this year.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“When I became Mayor a year ago, I promised to make bus fares simpler and cheaper across West Yorkshire. Through our new Enhanced Partnership with bus operators that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“The proposed new £2 maximum fare will make a difference to people’s lives, helping to make bus travel an affordable choice. It will significantly cut the cost of travel for people making journeys over 3 miles, in some cases by £1.50.

“You can hop on a bus from Marsh to Lindley, Bradford to Keighley or Halifax to Leeds and know that you won’t have to pay more than £2 for your trip.

“And the full roll-out of ‘tap-on, tap-off’ next year means people won’t have to plan their journeys in advance – they can travel on as many buses as they need for the whole day and never pay more than £4.50.

“We’ll also be investing over £25 million to develop new bus routes to reconnect those communities left isolated by recent service changes, particularly in our towns and villages, to help people reach health and leisure services, work and learning opportunities,  and to see family and friends. Our consultations on which new and existing routes to support will begin next month.

“I want people to see buses as the first choice for the journey they want to make. The investments we’re making to reduce fares, develop new routes and introduce new zero emission buses mean they will be a cost-effective environmentally-friendly way to travel in West Yorkshire for years to come.”

Questions & Answers

Q: Which bus services and routes does this apply to?

A: The maximum single fare of £2 and maximum daily fare of £4.50 will apply across West Yorkshire, on all service operators, on journeys within West Yorkshire. These are not applicable to Park & Ride services or journeys that begin or end outside West Yorkshire.

Q: When do the new ticket prices come in?

A: We are awaiting final confirmation of funding from Government but are planning for September 2022.

Q: Will fares increase?

A: No. Any fare currently under £2 will stay under £2.

Q: What about fares for young people?

A: They will be unchanged, whether bought on the bus or in advance.

Q: What do people have to do to buy the tickets?

A: People can buy a tickets on the bus, and can pay by cash or use a contactless debit or credit card. Day, week and month tickets can be purchased through the MCard app. As part of this scheme we are planning to introduce a “tap and cap” system as in London.

Q: Will I still be able to get discounts if I buy WY DaySaver tickets in multiples of 3, 5 or 10?

A: Yes. Those discounts will be announced nearer the time.

Q: How will the £4.50 maximum fare work?

A: Initially customers will buy an MCard Day Saver on the MCard app or smartcard. Next year we will introduce a facility similar to London's Oyster Card where customers can tap in and out every time they travel using a contactless debit or credit card and they won’t pay more than £4.50 per day.

Q: Why is the Mayor doing this?

A: When the Mayor was elected, she promised to use her devolved powers to simplify the region’s complex mix of bus fares and make it cheaper for passengers. She also pledged to make buses easier to use and better connect communities across our region.

Q: What is the Mayor doing about increasing the number of services in the region?

A: Under the Bus Service Improvement Plan, the Combined Authority will invest more than £25 million making our bus network work better for the people it services. Next month we will start consulting with local communities on the kinds of services they would like to see.

Q: Why can’t you do this sooner?

A: All of the local bus operators and district councils support the proposals, but they form part of our resubmitted Bus Service Improvement Plan, which will be assessed during the early summer by the Department for Transport.

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