Sheffield residents are being encouraged to get online and make their voice heard after a consultation exercise on the city’s bus services was launched.
A new bus partnership agreement could see the introduction of coordinated timetables, reduced fares and interchangeable tickets after councillors at a recent South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA) meeting gave the go ahead for consultation on the new scheme.
The Sheffield Bus Partnership is a unique agreement between First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Yorkshire, TM Travel, Sheffield Community Transport, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), and Sheffield City Council.
The partnership will be asking people what they think about the network proposals, which have been designed to best fit people’s needs. In addition to timetabling and network improvements, other proposals include:
- smart tickets, which means easier payment methods and removing the need to pay cash to the driver
- better tickets that can be used across operators in the partnership - putting customer needs first
- newer greener, low floor buses
- lower fares for cross service tickets (including Supertram)
The partners believe that by working together they will be able to help grow the number of people using buses by making the network simpler, more flexible and more convenient.
As well as the current Citywide Day ticket – at a reduced price of £4-30, new weekly, 28 day and annual CityWide tickets will be introduced.
As part of the consultation, the Partnership is also seeking your opinion on a proposed new ticket. The City60 ticket would offer unlimited one-way travel which requires a change – ideal for journeys when customers may need to use different buses or trams. The second journey would need to start within an hour of buying the ticket.
David Young, SYPTE Director of Customer Experience, said: "This new partnership is all about improving the bus network for customers. It means creating a network that suits people’s needs and makes it more affordable too. We hope people will tell us what they think about what we have come up with."
Coun Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Culture , Sport and Leisure, said: "I believe it is important that the transport operators work in partnership to provide a joined-up service to make travel in this region as easy as possible for passengers. We want everyone’s views on these proposals to ensure that the partnership agreement provides excellent services at the best possible value that local people really need."
Dave Alexander, Managing Director for First in North England, said: " All the partners have worked hard to put this network of bus services together and we now need both community representatives and bus users to tell us how best we can serve them."
Paul Lynch, Managing Director, Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: "We want to hear from as many people as possible during the consultation exercise – their valued contributions will help us to shape the future of bus networks in Sheffield."
Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposals by completing the questionnaire online at sheffieldbuspartnership.co.uk. The consultation runs until 14 July 2012.