First Bus First Bus are increasing their tickets across the University of York, following September 1, affecting both students and staff.
On average, the increase in price ranges between 22-30 percent. One increase, can be seen in the incredibly popular £10 for 10 tickets bundle, which will now cost £13 for 10 tickets. The increase will affect all student bundles, as well as day, week, term, and annual passes.
The change is a result of the rise in inflation and the stagnation of prices seen for over 5 years, making it infeasible to operate the service at its current cost.
Furthermore, the free travel zone existing between York Sport Village and The Retreat, spanning across both campuses, allowed for students to get on in the free zone and continue into the city centre without paying.
To counter this, the 66 and 67 buses will no longer be free at all, offering only fully paid routes. The buses, as usual, will travel between both campuses and into the city centre.
However, the 68 and 69 services will operate as free intercampus shuttles for both students and staff. Travelling from the bus interchange and Sport Village on Campus East to Heslington Hall, the Library, or James College on Campus West.
First has claimed that these changes have been made in order to meet demand with their network. However, YUSU Wellbeing Officer Hannah Nimmo disagrees.
Nimmo has commented: “After consulting with students myself on First Bus services in December 2022, students have informed me that they believe the University services from First are often overcrowded, inconsistent and need to be more frequent.
“No changes have been made to other York services at this time, only to University services. Therefore, I do not agree that this network demand is coming from students specifically.”
Nimmo has been against the price increases from day one, strongly opposing them on behalf of YUSU when they first asked for approval.
When considering the rising cost of living for York students, Nimmo deems the increase in prices of an essential service is ultimately unfair.
Nimmo states: “More UoY students are in financial hardship than ever before, and many students rely on the First services to get to campus, from students with disabilities to students who commute from outside York.
“I therefore do not believe it is fair for those students in particular to have to burden inflated bus fares to meet an essential requirement of their studies.”
To help students still in York over the summer, the University negotiated a selection of discount codes, thus aiding international and postgraduate students and staff living on campus.
First Bus With the changes looking to come in over the summer break, Nimmo is still looking to campaign. Nimmo says: “I am currently writing a letter to the City of York Council, because even though these services are University of York specific, many members of the local community also utilise the services.
“Therefore, it is naive to think that these changes will only impact the students and staff of the University.”
Once term resumes, Nimmo is eager to bring students into the conversation, offering support and readiness to campaign against the changes if students have a wish to do so.