Bristol fares are very good value
AS FIRST'S biggest competitor on commercial services (i.e. not financially supported by any source other than fares) in Bristol, I have followed Daniel Farr's campaign about the high prices of fares with interest.
His campaign has actually reached the trade press and an article in Bus and Coach Professional last week had actually posed the questions "Are First fares in Bristol high?"
They took the example of the First Day ticket which gives unlimited travel all day in Bristol zones 1 and 2 costing £4.
This compared to £4.50 in Glasgow and Manchester, £4.60 in Leeds, £4.80 in Aberdeen and £5 in Sheffield.
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In actual fact there are only two places where First Day tickets are cheaper than in Bristol . Neither of which are comparable areas to Bristol.
In actual fact, on some of my services in Bristol more than 70 per cent of passengers travel for a single fare payment of under 91p. This is the amount that Bristol City Council have imposed on all operators (including First) as the amount they will pay for the transport of concessionary card holders.
During the mayoral elections a number of candidates suggested that all passengers in Bristol should pay £1.50 per journey.
Perhaps people would be better campaigning that bus companies should receive a fairer reimbursement for this free travel rather than forcing the bus companies to charge more to subsidise this free travel.
If 70 per cent are paying 60p below this figure then the 30 per cent of passengers who are paying must make up this shortfall meaning by definition that the mayoral candidates felt that a single fare of £2.70 was appropriate for the area.
From this it would appear that the First £4 day ticket is indeed extremely good value, being £1.40 cheaper than the return fare advocated by the mayoral candidates.
Even better value for passengers in the area is the new £4.50 Bristol Rider ticket available on almost all bus services in the area, no matter who the operator is.
Managing Director Abus Limited