'Prices go up but the service goes downhill': Leeds residents react to First Bus price hike

Bus operator First is putting up its prices this weekend - and it's got a lot of people in Leeds talking.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 5:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 6:35 pm

The price of most tickets will rise on Sunday and a typical single fare will rise by 20 pence.

A Leeds day ticket will rise to £4.70 on the bus, or £4.60 on the app, while a weekly ticket will cost £18 on the bus, or £17 on the app.

Leeds residents have responded to the rise in First Bus ticket prices

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Leeds residents have had a lot to say on the announcement and have taken to social media to share their thoughts.

Laura Speight argued that the drive to use public transport is harmed by the rising cost of bus tickets.

She commented: "They want more people to use public transport and not drive, but ultimately that will never change when prices are constantly going up and the bus services are becoming more and more unreliable.

-> Nearly 200 Leeds buses now fitted with new technology in £5m transport upgrade"I commute everyday on buses and it's not unusual to be waiting over an hour for a bus. I live a 15 minute drive from the city centre."

First buses have received a number of upgrades since these vehicles used in 2015

One resident said bus services in Leeds are the least reliable they have ever been, while Hayley Smith said she is looking to buy a car so she doesn't have to use buses anymore.

Another resident, Tanni O'Neill, commented: "Prices go up, but the service carries on going downhill."

Leeds commuters criticise the ticketing app

First Bus is encouraging commuters to switch to paperless tickets, offering cheaper prices on the First Bus ticket app.

Many Leeds residents commented that they struggle to use the app, while others said it is unreliable.

Diane Illingworth said: "The app does not always work. I bought a day ticket on the app, it was fine going to work but when I finished work it would not load and said I had no active tickets.

"I had to show the bus driver an email to prove I bought it this morning. If he hadn’t believed me, I would have been stranded and out of pocket.

"The app is not reliable as this is not the first time it’s happened and I have had to pay a single fare on top of the daily or weekly ticket I bought - has anyone else had this issue?"

-> West Yorkshire MPs' joint call to bring First Bus services into public ownershipMany residents responded with their complaints about the app and Beverly Golesworthy added that "not everyone can do the smart phone thing."

Rising prices for upgraded services?

Some residents supported the price hike and said that it is justified by the upgraded services on Leeds buses.

Julie Watkiss said: "When they asked travellers what they wanted on a bus, lots (mainly young people) said free WiFi and lots of charging sockets. These things need to be paid for. The bus fairies don't pay for it.

"People can't manage without looking at their phones then moan when prices go up."

However, other residents pointed out that the upgrades have not extended to all bus services in Leeds.

Martine Stead said: "It is actually cheaper to drive to where I work, my colleague can get to work in 15 minutes in the morning and home in 30 minutes.

"It takes me an hour and half to get to work on two buses and up to three hours to get home on three buses.

"He pays less for his car, insurance and petrol than I do for my West Yorkshire weekly. We live pretty close to each other.

"The WiFi etc is only on the student services, not on mine."

Others recommended moving away from public transport altogether and Jamie Lewis Moran commented: "Might I suggest cycling instead, you'll save a LOT of money in the process and become healthier."

Dan Wilkinson agreed, adding: "Just get a push bike if you can, I did, saving a fortune. New Farnley to Hunslet where I work takes only 20 to 25 minutes. Miles quicker than [the] bus or driving."