Tap On Tap Off, or Buy In Bulk – Here’s Everything you Need to Know About the First Bus Fare Increases

(Image: York Vision)

First Bus has announced student and staff bus fares are to increase, aligning with wider fare increases across their network in York.

They are scheduled to come into place from the 24th of July. However, the University insists that they will provide discount codes for staff and students purchasing weekly and monthly tickets. 

This means that fares will remain at the same price until their new contract with First begins on the 1st of September.

The University says they will announce more details over the coming weeks before the increase is scheduled on the 24th of July. 

Keep an eye on the University website and social media pages for updates on this.

So, what does this mean?

For now, until the 1st of September, weekly and monthly ticket fares will remain at their current price on the University services. Then, from September onwards, when the University contract with First Bus renews, the fare increases will come into effect.

First Bus say this price rise (approximately a 20-25% increase*), is a result of inflation on their costs and to “continue developing a sustainable bus network.”

“Student fares have remained unchanged for over 3 years and it has been necessary to adjust these,” says Kayleigh Ingham, Commercial Director for First North & West Yorkshire.

“At a time when everyone is looking at how to manage rising living costs and how much they use their own transport with continued high fuel prices, the bus is an affordable and sustainable way to travel.”

What are the new prices then?

The fare changes, which you can see in full on the first bus website, includes FirstDay student tickets changing from £3.20 to £4.00, week tickets increasing to £15 and month tickets increasing to £62.

The popular 10 pack of singles for £10 and 20 pack for £20 deals have both increased by 30% in price.

A 10 pack of singles will now cost £13 and a 20 pack will cost £26.

For term student tickets, prices have risen from £94 to £115.

Annual student/staff tickets now cost £345.

The University says “we are very disappointed to see these increased fares, which come after some months of contractual discussions and engagement with First Bus and our elected student representatives. It is critical however that we maintain a regular, efficient and sustainable bus provision for our staff and student; operating to, from and across our campuses, which First Bus will continue to deliver for the next 12 months.”

Recognising that the cost of living continues to pile pressure on students and staff, the University encourages students to look at their general information about financial help and advice on their Cost of Living Hub and for staff on their Cost of Living webpage.

On the cost of living hub there is useful information on the student support fund, emergency loans, household energy grants, benefits and tax credits, as well as food vouchers and much more.

What can I do to save money on my bus fares?

First Bus Commercial Director, Kaleigh Ingham encourages students to use Tap on, Tap off (TOTO) services. 

Tap on tap off is already in use on public transport around the country – notably on Transport for London services. It simply involves using your contactless card when getting on a bus, tapping it onto the spot where you’d usually scan your card to get a ticket, and then remembering to tap it off on an outgoing scanner as you leave the bus.

“TOTO speeds up boarding which helps us improve efficiency and reduce fares administration to keep costs down into the future…It also creates savings for consecutive journeys during a week.”

Because of this, using TOTO is cheaper than paying for a ticket with your card, or with cash…so long as you remember to tap off when you get off the bus!

A single ticket, which now costs £2 (under the current Government bus fare cap), only costs £1.40 when you use TOTO.

This means for two journeys (i.e. to and from town), using TOTO you can spend just £2.80 on a journey, instead of £4 for two singles or a day ticket.

First Bus also recommends purchasing tickets for unlimited travel (weekly, monthly, termly, or annual tickets) and bulk packs such as the 10 singles for £13 or the 20 for £26.

These, they say, “continue to offer good value on the cost per trip” for regular travellers.

*This article has since been amended as the previously stated 30% increase only applies to the 10 and 20 pack bundles of tickets. The rest of First Bus fares have increased by between 20-25%.

Get in touch

Have any thoughts on the bus fare increases or want to get in touch?

Email us at [email protected], or message us on our social media pages.