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.
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.
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 |
|Rawcliffe Bar - City Centre Circular||7/8 mins||15 mins until 1945||Daytime only: 10 mins|
|3|| White Line |
|Askham Bar - City Centre Circular||7/8 mins||15 mins until 1945||Daytime only: 10 mins|
|4|| Mauve Line |
|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 |
|York Designer Outlet - City Centre Circular||10 mins||20 mins until 1945 (2000 2020 on Thursdays)||Daytime only: 10 mins|
|8|| Yellow Line |
|Grimston Bar - City Centre Circular||10 mins||20 mins until 1945||Daytime only: 10 mins|
|9|| Silver Line |
|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 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|
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 September 2008
From Sunday 31st August 2008 a number of timetable changes will be made to First bus services in York:
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.
Minor change to off peak journey times. Slight changes to evening timetable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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.
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.