'Oyster Card' tap and go system on Leeds buses submitted to government for approval as proposals take step forward

Cheaper and more affordable bus fares within Leeds, as part of a new 'Oyster Card' style tap and go system, have taken a step forward today as plans were officially submitted to government.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 4:45 pm

This could be implemented among a host of changes after West Yorkshire’s Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP) was approved at a meeting of the Combined Authority on Friday, October 22 before official submission to government today.

Read More

Read More
New Leeds Flexibus service lets passengers name their pick-up point

Plans were announced as Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, released a new video to show her own experience of travelling by bus in the region.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It is hoped that the listed changes will encourage residents out of their cars and onto public transport. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

In her video, Ms Brabin travels on a route from Rodley to Leeds, chatting about the challenges faced by local bus services which the BSIP aims to tackle. These include safety at bus stops, connectivity across West Yorkshire and ticket prices.

“I’m a regular bus user, and as your mayor the voice of the passenger, I’m really aware of the issues bus users in West Yorkshire might face." she said "Last week was the 35th anniversary of bus deregulation in England and it’s widely accepted, even by the Government, that this hasn’t worked."

Ms Brabin continued, explaining how 35 years on, her pledge is to radically improve bus travel in the region: "We want buses to be the first choice for travel in West Yorkshire - not because you don’t have a car - but because they’re more affordable, convenient to use, and better for the environment.”

Changes proposed as part of West Yorkshire’s BSIP include:

Cheaper fares - via a “tap and go” system which means passengers are charged the best price for their journey and never more than a £5.50 daily cap.

Simplified fares - passengers will be able to purchase one ticket regardless of which bus company provides the service.

Reduced journey times - new priority lanes and road improvements will allow buses to move through traffic more freely with the aim of reducing average bus journey times by 10% in the next four years, and by 15% by 2030.

Improved punctuality - to 95% by March 2025 (from 88% in March 2019).

A journey satisfaction guarantee - if passengers are not happy with the service, they receive their money back, or their next journey for free.

A ‘last journey promise’ - if the final bus service of the day on a route is late or cancelled, taxi fares will be reimbursed.

More bus services and routes - the aim is for more bus routes to operate every 15 minutes or more frequently and to offer more early morning and evening services to help families with children and shift workers. And to extend routes into more communities to improve the inclusivity of the bus network.

Better travel information and customer support - the MCard Mobile app introduced earlier this year will be expanded to enable people to plan journeys, buy tickets and view live travel information throughout the West Yorkshire bus network.

Improved safety - a partnership with West Yorkshire Police, to make bus travel safer for everyone, including women and girls. This will also include enhanced lighting and CCTV at bus stops.

Greener buses - a commitment to a carbon-zero bus fleet by 2036, and all buses will be Euro VI or zero emission by 2026.

Improved customer service - all customer facing staff, including drivers will receive enhanced training to ensure the highest quality service is provided.

Bus station improvements in Halifax, Leeds, Huddersfield, and Dewsbury are also planned with the BSIP aiming to increase bus usage within West Yorkshire by 15% by 2025.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.