First Bus announces new fare structure across the West of England
First West of England has introduced new tickets and fares from 23 January 2022 in an effort to encourage more people to travel by public transport as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
For the first time since July 2019, First Bus has unveiled a major overhaul of its ticket offer across the West of England in an effort to encourage more people to travel when COVID-19 restrictions ease by offering more flexibility and choice. While some fares will increase, others will stay the same or be reduced, with many customers able to save or limit any increase through the availability of new products.
The new tickets and fares were launched on 23 January 2022 and have been developed following detailed analysis of customers’ travel patterns, with particular focus on ensuring that the range of tickets reflects the new ways that people are traveling because of the pandemic; particularly the emergence of more hybrid working and the end, for many, of the traditional five-day commute.
Among the changes being introduced are new day ticket bundles that better match when people want to travel and avoid customers having to buy a week or month ticket and waste money on days when they don’t travel. For example, changes in commuting and hybrid working are catered for by new three-day and five-day options for people who either no longer do the Monday-Friday commute or use their ticket over the weekend.
Most customers who buy a Day ticket (between 70-80 per cent, depending on the area of travel) only take a maximum of two buses each day yet pay the same as those taking many more trips. New 2-Trip tickets will be available to enable these customers to save against the cost of a Day ticket when using only two buses in a day.
Furthermore, for cash customers who don’t always have the choice of buying through the First Bus app, on-bus and off-bus fares will be made the same, meaning that customers who pay by contactless onboard will also now benefit from the same price as those paying through the app.
In North Somerset, new local fares are being introduced in Nailsea, Portishead and Clevedon to make the bus a more economical option than before. These new town fares will cost £1.50 for a single, compared to the previous single fares of £2.50 or £3.50, encouraging customers to choose buses over cars for short, local journeys.
“This is a significant change to our fares which will benefit hundreds of thousands of people who travel with us across the West of England every week,” said Rob Pymm, Commercial Director of First West of England. “Bus travel has taken a huge hit as a result of the pandemic, so we needed to ensure that our ticket range works for those that have continued to rely on the bus throughout the pandemic, whilst at the same time suiting those who will come back to the bus when conditions allow or are thinking of giving the bus a try for the first time.”