The sometimes criticised ftr bus service, which runs between Acomb and the University at Heslington, has got a welcome boost as it approaches its 5th birthday.
Launched in York in June 2006, the ftr has become a familiar sight on York’s streets. While the size of the vehicle – which seeks to emulate tram standards of comfort – was not popular with some, regular users of the vehicle have given it the thumbs up in a recent survey.
Organised by local resident Mark Waudby, and with the support of local Councillors Steve Galloway and Andrew Waller, the survey asked users of the service for their verdict.
The survey results reveal that nearly 90% of respondents living in the Foxwood part of the City use the number 4 ftr service.
While 25% felt that the service was not as reliable as it could be, around 80% rated the vehicle as comfortable with a similar percentage saying that they got to their destination quickly.
Most popular feature of the service was the presence of “hosts” (conductors) on board with over 90% liking this part of the service.
Mark Waudby comments, “Although the ftr has been criticised in some quarters, most of the people who actually use the service rate it highly.
The hosts on the service get good marks for customer service while vehicle features, such as air conditioning, set it apart from ordinary buses”.
The 5 year agreement on the use of the ftr in the City comes to an end next year.
Steve Galloway, the Councils executive member who has responsibility for transport in the City, says, ” From a passengers perspective, the ftr will be a hard act to follow, but we are negotiating with First to try to ensure that we continue to have a modern, low emission, public transport fleet operating in the City.
Substantial investments in bus priorities have been made over the last 7 years with recent reductions in journey times, on the Fulford Road corridor, amongst those being recorded.
Further improvements on the number 4 route can be anticipated next year with changes to the Blossom Street traffic signals and additional waiting restrictions being introduced, to speed traffic movements in the area”.
1679 homes in the Foxwood area were surveyed with, so far, 523 responses being received. Not every respondent answered every question