Fix First Win: First Bus Bring Back Free Zones Between University Campuses


The 'Fix First' campaign was successful, amassing almost 7000 letters

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Image by Annie Watson

By Daisy Couture

On 25 January, YUSU Wellbeing Officer Hannah Nimmo announced on Instagram that her ‘Fix First’ campaign had won. As of 5 February, the free zone of the 66 and 67 First Bus services will be restored, as well as a reduced single fare buffer zone.

Both the 66 and 67 run from the York Sport Village to the York Railway Station. In September 2023, First Bus disposed of the free zones between East and West Campus and replaced them with the C1 and C2 services. These free buses run exclusively around campus areas, but less frequently. Free routes to Halifax College were removed entirely.

Fares also increased at a rate of 22 to 26 percent, when inflation at the time of implementation (July 2023) was at 6.8 percent.

Student feedback to YUSU has been generally negative – according to one of Nimmo’s Instagram posts, students believe that the changes “do not work for students.” Buses are “unaffordable”, “unreliable” and make it “difficult to commute to the University campus.”

‘Fix First’ aimed to bring back the free zones of the 66 and 67 services, as well as reduce tickets to their original price.

In November 2023, Nimmo called on the student body to join the campaign and submit letters sharing their thoughts on the changes. In total, YUSU sent 6,875 letters to the University of York and to First Bus.

From 5 February, passengers will be able to ride the 66 and 67 services between York Sport Village and The Retreat (66) or Green Dykes Lane (67) for free.

Passengers will be able to travel from campus to Heslington Road (66) or The Boulevard (67) for a reduced fare of £1.40. Travelling into York city centre will still cost the standard £2 single rate, unless using the student travel tickets.

In addition to this, the C1 and C2 buses will still run around campus.

Communications are expected from the University and First Bus shortly to further explain the changes.