Figures compiled by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that improvements made to York’s buses helped take 460,000 car trips off the city’s roads last year, the equivalent of a traffic jam from York to Moscow.
The DfT’s annual statistics on public transport use show that the number of people using York’s buses has increased for the fourth year in a row. Last year there were 16.8 million passengers on York’s buses, compared to15 million in 2012/13. This is a growth in passengers of 12 percent, which is in contrast with the rest of the Yorkshire and Humber region which has fallen by 4 percent.
Passenger satisfaction information, collected by Transport Focus on behalf of the York Quality Bus Partnership, also suggests that 90 percent of York’s bus passengers are satisfied with the service they receive – a rate above the national average of 87 percent, and above the rates for West and South Yorkshire.
The figures are similar to those found by a Liberal Democrat residents survey undertaken in west York last year
The council and bus operators have worked together to improve York’s bus network over the last few years through the York Quality Bus Partnership. Innovations in York have included:
- Improvements to bus information, including new on-street timetables and more real time displays
- Two new park and ride sites at Askham Bar and Poppleton Bar
- Fare reductions and new tickets
- Improvements to well used bus stops in the city centre including Museum Street and Exhibition Square.
- New electric buses on the Poppleton and Monks Cross park and ride services
- Introduction of refurbished electric open-top buses on the City Sightseeing tour service
- New services, such as the CityZap service between York and Leeds, and new vehicles and higher frequencies on some existing services
- Introduction of a multi-operator “AllYork” ticket and a smartcard ticket
- The introduction of two “Bus Wardens” and the bus enquiry desk at the Railway Station to help passengers
In the next six months there will be further improvements to the network, particularly opening improved bus interchanges at Stonebow and Rougier Street. New buses will also be introduced on Coastliner and EYMS services. FirstYork will be introducing new ticket machines across their network which will allow contactless payment. Over the next 12 months First will be introducing new buses on the Askham Bar, Rawcliffe Bar, Grimston Bar and Designer Outlet park and ride services as the new park and ride operating contract is introduced.
Keith McNally, Chair of the York Quality Bus Partnership, said: “I am delighted that the partnership between the City of York Council and bus operators serving the city has resulted in further growth in passenger numbers and continued high levels of satisfaction amongst bus users. Many of the projects that have helped to deliver this growth are relatively small in nature but when combined together, they make a real difference.”
Councillor Ian Gillies, executive member for transport and planning, said: “The increasing number of people using York’s buses reflects the work done by bus operators and the council to help ensure York offers a quality up to date service. This is a great help in a city like York where we are working to create attractive alternatives to car journeys where possible.”