Tuesday, January 10, 2023

News: Early £2 fare cap "surpasses all expectations" in South Yorkshire


Introducing a £2 fare in South Yorkshire two months ahead of a national fare cap on bus journeys has "surpassed all expectations" with over 1.25 million journeys benefiting from the scheme.

The take up was in excess of forecast and has resulted in a £400,000 budget pressure at the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA).

Rothbiz reported at the end of 2022 that the government was providing up to £60m across the country but the MCA had set aside £600k as part of bold plans to combat the cost-of-living crisis.

The national scheme began on January 1 but South Yorkshire bus and tram fares have been capped at £2 since November 1. This is set to continue until the end of March 2023.

The average single fare for a 3-mile journey is estimated at over £2.80 with some passengers able to save 50% on some single trips. Bus and Supertram journeys which already cost under £2 have not been affected, including 80p Zoom Beyond fares for young people. £2 adult fares are available on any bus or tram service which starts and ends in South Yorkshire.

A budget report to the MCA board states: "Uptake on the £2 fare cap, launched in November to support the cost-of-living pressures faced by many in South Yorkshire, has been considerably in excess of forecast with over 1.25 million journeys benefiting from the scheme, and with over 51% of journeys being undertaken from communities within the three most deprived bandings. This is leading to forecast overspend against the budget by c. £0.40m. This pressure will be accommodated within the balance of funding set-aside for cost-of-living mitigations.

"Further work is being undertaken to assess the performance of this scheme and consider what lessons may be learnt that could support future pricing policies."

£700,000 was the revised figure for the £2 fare scheme, with the figure now at £1.1m.

When the number of journeys went past the 1 million mark in December, South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “As the cost of living crisis continues to affect us all and we brace for further challenges, I am determined to do all I can help our community get through this winter with the power and resources I have.

“I know cutting public transport costs is a big part of the solution for the thousands of people in our region who rely on our buses and tram network. That’s why we introduced the £2 fare cap early here in South Yorkshire, where it’s needed now - ahead of the government’s planned national scheme - and extended it to include trams.

“Because while we all recognise there’s a lot of work to do to fix our broken public transport system, bit by bit we’re trying to make things better for the travelling public and this is the start of that journey.”

Images: SYMCA


Anonymous,  January 11, 2023 at 10:22 AM  

If only there were any buses to get on!

Anonymous,  January 12, 2023 at 2:18 PM  

Just goes to show that when public transport is priced sensibly, people will use it.

Hopefully the powers that be will take notice and now start getting the services to run on time with better timetables.

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