The goal is to increase the number of bus passengers by 50 percent over the next few years in order to reduce traffic jams and reduce CO2 emissions.
At a ‘bus briefing’ for local media today, council leaders unveiled a series of improvements to bus services in the city – some of which have already started to make an impact – which are set to be funded with more than £27 million of help government funding.
This includes an all-new fleet of 53 electric buses, funded with £10.2m from the Department for Transport and a £13m investment from First. As reported in The Press, the first of the new buses are already on York’s streets and by next spring First’s entire York fleet will be electric.
But the council is also planning a major program of fare subsidies and bus route and infrastructure improvements, all funded by a further £17.3 million in Bus Service Improvement (BSIP) funding received by the Department for Transport last year under the previous government.
As recently reported in the press, BSIP funding means the council can continue to subsidize early morning, evening and weekend services on First York’s main bus routes – including the 1.2A, 4, 6.10 and 10A – until January . This will cost the authority £12,000 per month – but in the longer term First is encouraged to continue the routes on a commercial basis.
Other fare subsidies include:-
- Half-price family bus fares were introduced over the summer, along with a program allowing accompanied children to travel free. The council says this has already led to an increase in bus use by families
- A £1 one-way trial allowance for all young people traveling alone has just been introduced
Meanwhile, plans to improve bus routes and infrastructure include:-
- Modernizing bus stops with more “real-time information screens” –
- New “priority measures” for buses – expected to include more bus lanes –
- Upgrading park and ride sites so that they become “multimodal hubs”, enabling connections to long-distance bus routes as well as local connections to car clubs, electric bikes and scooters and rental bikes. The council also hopes to allow overnight parking for passengers who want to spend more time in the city.
Cllr Kilbane said York City Council was committed to increasing bus passenger numbers by 50 per cent – from 40,000 to 60,000 a day – to reduce congestion and meet ambitious zero carbon targets.
– First York unveils a new fleet of electric buses in York
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– Bus fares £1 or free for children and young people on services in York
He said the planned bus improvements would be accompanied by a comprehensive review of the city’s bus network, consulting with riders, user groups and others to find ways to make the network more efficient.
The city council will also launch a city-wide consultation later this year on a new local transport strategy aimed at prioritizing public transport.
Cllr Kilbane said: “We need to increase bus services in York by 50 per cent.” The only way to achieve this is to make the bus network and services affordable, pleasant and efficient.
“Bus passengers are heroes of climate change. We must do everything we can to support them by clearing roads so that public transport takes priority.”
Council head of active and sustainable transport Michael Howard added: “The targets are ambitious. The stability of the bus network is key to achieving these goals.”
https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23787693.buses-will-priority-york-declares-city-transport-boss/?ref=rss Buses will be a “priority” in York, says the city’s transport boss