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First York

First York is the largest bus operator in York, England. It is part of First Group, a major bus and train operator with a turnover of nearly £2.5 billion a year and 62,000 employees across the UK and North America. The York depot is in James Street, and maintains a fleet of 106 buses.

History

See http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/yorkhumber/york/history/timeline.php

Fleet

A breakdown of the buses operated by First York is as follows:

2001 and 2002 were significant years, for they marked the arrival of the B7Ls, B6BLEs, B7TLs and Optare Solos - 86 new vehicles in the space of a two year period represented significant investment in the First York fleet.

15 Mercedes-Benz Citaro articulated buses are due.

Services

There are thirteen colour-coded Overground routes (numbers 1-13) which operate at weekday frequencies of between eight and thirty minutes, and a few other services with less intensive frequencies (numbers 12, 16/17, 18/X18, and 22).

First York also operates the city's Park & Ride network

Since 27 February 2007, First York has operated a coach service linking the city with Leeds Bradford Airport. This is branded as York Aircoach, and is based on a model and brand successfully used by Aircoach, a sister FirstGroup company operating to and from Dublin Airport. 4 Volvo B10M-62 coaches previously operated by First Coaches and First Trafford Park were acquired for this operation. The coaches were fleet numbered 20461,2,3,4 regeds X191,2,3,4HFB. All wore First Excel coach branding with additional "York Aircoach" branding applied. 20463 has now transferred to First Essex and 20464 is set for transfer to First Cymru.

Unlike First Companies in many other cities the usage of route branding is somewhat limited on the York fleet. Apart from the heavily branded Park and Ride vehicles, routes with some route branding include: Blue Line 1, ftr 4, Claret Line 10, and York Aircoaches.

First in York services are:

No. Type Route Mon-Sat Daytime Frequency Mon-Sat Evening Frequency Sunday Frequency
1 Blue Line Wiggington - City Centre - Acomb - Chapelfields 10 mins 20 mins from 1800 then 30 mins from 19.00 30 mins
2 Green Line
Park&Ride
Rawcliffe Bar - City Centre Circular 7/8 mins 15 mins until 1945 Daytime only: 10 mins
3 White Line
Park&Ride
Askham Bar - City Centre Circular 7/8 mins 15 mins until 1945 Daytime only: 10 mins
4 Mauve Line
ftr
University - City Centre - Acomb 10 mins 20 mins from 1800 20 mins daytime, 30 mins evenings/ early mornings
4U Uni Link University - City Centre - Rail Station - 30 mins, 2330 - 0215, Mon - Thurs, Uni Term time only -
5 Orange Line Strensall - Huntington - City Centre 15 mins Every 30 mins after 1800 30 mins
6 Purple Line Clifton Moor - City Centre - Osbaldwick 10 mins 20 mins from 1800 then 30 mins from 1900 30 mins
7 Red Line
Park&Ride
York Designer Outlet - City Centre Circular 10 mins 20 mins until 1945 (2000 2020 on Thursdays) Daytime only: 10 mins
8 Yellow Line
Park&Ride
Grimston Bar - City Centre Circular 10 mins 20 mins until 1945 Daytime only: 10 mins
9 Silver Line
Park&Ride
Monks Cross - City Centre Circular 10 mins 1911 1926 1941 Daytime only: 10 mins
10 Claret Line Stamford Bridge - Dunnington - City Centre - Poppleton 30 mins 30 mins until 2000 then 60 mins 60 mins
11 Indigo Line Ashley Park Bridge - City Centre - South Bank - Bishopsthorpe 30 mins 60 mins between City Centre and Bishopsthorpe Daytime only: 60 mins between City and Bishopsthorpe
12 Pink Line Haxby - City Centre - Askham Bar - Acomb Park 30 mins 60 mins 60 mins
13 Brown Line Monks Cross - Heworth - City Centre - Askham Bar - Copmanthorpe 30 mins 60 mins between Copmanthorpe and City Centre Daytime only: 60 mins
16 Grey Line Monks Cross - City Centre - Acomb 30 mins Daytime only: 60 mins
18 Grey Line Holme on Spalding Moor - North Duffield - Wheldrake - City Centre 60 mins
22 Skelton - Rawcliffe - Leeman Road - City Centre 60 mins
Extra early morning/evening journeys
60 mins 60 mins
120 AirCoach Leeds Bradford Airport - Bickerton - City Centre 60 mins
X18 Grey Line City Centre - North Duffield - Holme on Spalding Moor 0635 and 0835 from City Centre

York Park and Ride

York also has its own park and ride service, operated by First York. It was designed to relieve York's overcrowded car parks. These services form a large part of First York's high frequency overground network. These services are:

Service No. Overground Park & Ride Site
2 Green Line
Rawcliffe Bar
3 White Line
Askham Bar
7 Red Line
York Designer Outlet
8 Yellow Line
Grimston Bar
9 Silver Line
Monks Cross

York Racecourse Shuttle

First York shuttle buses to and from York Railway Station and the racecourse on racedays only, starting at approximately 11:30 am from outside the Royal York Hotel (next to the Station) and the last bus departs the racecourse half an hour after the last race.

Fares for these services are priced at £2 single & £3 return.

Bus Service Changes

Bus Service Changes September 2008

From Sunday 31st August 2008 a number of timetable changes will be made to First bus services in York:

  • Service 1

Minor change to early evening journeys. Addition of a later bus on Friday and Saturday evenings, 00:00 from York Station to Wigginton and Chapelfields.

  • Service 4

Minor change to off peak journey times. Slight changes to evening timetable.

  • Service 5

Changes to morning peak journeys to allow additional time to reach York City Centre. Additional journey from Avon Drive to City Centre 07:37. Addition of a later bus on Friday and Saturday evenings, 23:55 from Station Road.

  • Service 6

A new 06:05 Monday " Friday journey from Clifton Moor. New journeys at 05:43 and 06:08 from City Centre to Hospital and Clifton Moor. Minor change to morning/afternoon peak journeys. Addition of a later bus on Friday and Saturday evenings, 00:00 Rougier Street to Clifton Moor, 00:07 Rougier Street to Osbladwick.

  • Service 10

Changes to journey times from Poppleton on School day timetable. 07:53 journey from Stamford Bridge to run to Archbishop Holgate School, to take demand away from the 07:48 journey. A double deck vehicle will still be used for the 07:48 journey. Evening journeys to run 5 minutes later from Stamford Bridge as a result of a feedback from local employer, McKechnie.

  • Service 13

Most journeys re-timed to leave five minutes earlier from Copmanthorpe, and five minutes earlier from Monks Cross. Evening journeys re-timed to reflect transport needs of evening students at York College.

  • Service 22

Last bus from Piccadilly to Skelton19:15 Monday " Saturday. Last bus from Skelton 19:45 Monday " Saturday. Last bus from Station Road 18:19 Sundays. Last bus from Skelton 18:45 Sundays

  • Service 787 YorkAirCoach

FTR

In May 2006, First York became the first bus operator in the UK to introduce Volvo/Wright StreetCars as part of the 'ftr' scheme being trialled in the city. A partnership between First Group, Wright Group and City of York Council, ftr is marketed as a "truly groundbreaking service...the future of travel. Eleven articulated StreetCars now operate on the number 4 route which links the University of York, the City Centre and the suburb of Acomb. Each bus can carry 42 seated and 71 standing passengers.

These buses contain a driving compartment separating the 'pilot'(i.e. driver) from the passengers, and will use satellite tracking technology to give traffic light priority to late running buses. Also, instead of paying a driver or conductor, passengers must buy tickets from automated ticket machines that only accept exact change. Much was made in the marketing of the ftr of the ability to buy 'm-tickets' on mobile phones, and prepaid tickets which can be scanned by the ticket machines. However, the automated ticket system was a failure as there was a high incidence of technical problems, and the machines were taken out of operation and boarded over. As a result, First York was forced to employ further conductors.

The ftr scheme has been largely unpopular with people in York for a number of reasons, such as problems with ticketing, pricing, buses not running to schedule, and difficulties caused by the excessive length of the vehicles. Protest has been espescially heated among students, and the York University Student Union is engaged in negotiations with First York to introduce student discounts.

The ftr scheme has led to extension of bus stop areas to accommodate the length of these vehicles, however in many cases this has been done in contravention of the guidance given in the council's highway design document leading to ftr's blocking the road at keep left bollards, thus causing unnecessary congestion and frustration for other road users.

Fares & Tickets

Some of the tickets that are available from First York:

Single & Return Fares

First York offer several single adult fares between £1.10 and £2.80 (£1.00, £1.50, £1.80, £2.50 from 6th January 2008) plus a return fare of £2.80 (£2.90 from 6th January 2008). Under 5s can travel for free on First buses. For 5 to 11 year olds, the standard single fare is 50p while 11 to 14 years olds pay £1.00 for a single journey or £1.50 for a return. Under 16s with a YOZone card, which is a young person's ID for public transport in York, can board a bus for 50p single fare. Any child between 14 and 16 without a YOZone card have to pay full adult fare. Senior citizens with a bus pass can travel on First bus for free after 9am weekdays and all day weekend and Bank Holidays.

FirstDay

Prices

  • Adult: £3.50
  • Child: £2.00
  • Family: £7.00 (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children)
  • First Night: £2.50 (After 18:30 only)

FirstDay is a day ticket which can be used on First services in York, including Park and Ride services but not on York AirCoach and raceday specials. There is no restrictions in how many times you use the ticket during that day but is valid until midnight. The ticket can be bought on the bus with the Family ticket also available from PayPoint locations in York.

FirstWeek

Prices

  • Adult until 5/1/2008: £13.00
  • Adult from 6/1/2008: £14.00
  • Child: £8.00

FirstWeek is a weekly ticket which can be used on First services in York except from York AirCoach and raceday specials. The ticket is valid for the day of purchase and the following six days. The adult ticket can be bought on the bus whilst the child ticket can only be bought from PayPoint locations or from First York's reception.

FirstCard

Prices

  • Adult until 5/1/2008: £44.00
  • Adult from 6/1/2008: £47.00
  • Child: £30.00

FirstCard is a four week ticket which can be used on First services in York except from York AirCoach and raceday specials. The ticket is valid for the day of purchase and the following 30 days. The ticket cannot be bought on the bus. They can be purchased from PayPoint locations in the York area or from First York's reception.

York AirCoach

The following tickets can only be bought for York AirCoach services.Prices

  • Single: £10.00 (when booked online)
  • Single: £12.00 (when bought on bus)
  • Return: £15.00 (when booked online)
  • Return: £17.00 (when bought on bus)

Students

Prices

  • Term: £99.00
  • Full Academic Year: £269.00

Student Term Tickets is a 3-monthly ticket (or one term at college/university) or a full academic year ticket which can be used on First services in York except from York AirCoach and raceday specials. The tickets can be bought from the First For Students website or from First York's reception. The ticket is valid for students at the University of York, York College, York College of Law and College of Ripon & York St John.

These prices could be seen as somewhat steep as students are unlikely to want to pay around £100 or £270 upfront at the beginning of the academic year. Previously offered were 10 journey tickets which were valid for 3 months which provided more flexibility for the semi-frequent passenger.

Notes

See also

External links

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