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Our response to feedback on the First York bus service

We maintain a close working relationship with First York for the continued provision of the dedicated routes to, from and across our campus. 

Over the last 12 months, we have met regularly with First and representatives from our Students’ Unions and Trade Unions, as First York has introduced a number of alterations to ensure the future sustainability of the services, and in conjunction with student and the University’s feedback.

We appreciate that some of these changes have led to concerns from groups of bus users, which YUSU has highlighted in their recent campaign. We continue to meet regularly with First York, representatives from our Student Unions and the Trade Unions to address this feedback and ensure the ongoing provision of effective student transport across our campus and the city.

Changes to 66 & 67 travel routes 

The 66 and 67 routes into the city have recently transitioned to fully paid routes, having previously incorporated a ‘free zone’ between campus east and west before continuing on into the city.

This change was unfortunately due to non-compliance and passengers failing to pay when travelling onward from the University free zone into the city.

To support students, two dedicated free shuttle services now connect campuses, ensuring free travel remains. These services travel between the Sport Village and Campus West Library and also Newton Way and are fully free of charge.

We understand there are currently concerns from some users regarding the frequency of these new services with discussions underway to improve efficiency.

Double-decker buses 

In response to concerns around overcrowding, First York introduced double-decker buses (soon to be fully electric) to their fleet. Following this significant investment, the buses run on average every 10-15 minutes and provide greater capacity than the previous single-decker vehicles.

C1 Halifax College stop 

The introduction of double-decker buses has unfortunately raised safety concerns, including views of local residents, at a single turning point on the current route outside Halifax College.  

A bus route cannot operate if there are any safety risks to passengers, the driver, or pedestrians and other road users in the proximity. Following a review of the route, the decision was taken to immediately suspend the service between the affected section from Heslington Road to Halifax College.

There was some urgency to this decision, leaving little time to put in place alternative arrangements, and we appreciate the change has had an impact on those who use this service. There are ongoing discussions with First York to identify viable solutions to this matter.

Fare increases 

First York has kept fares static for the past three years. However, rising business costs and the continued impact of high inflation led to a review of fares across all routes in the city toward the end of July 2023.

First York continues to offer discounted tickets and travel schemes to support students living or studying in areas outside the main campus.