First Bus Leeds seem to be pushing their mobile tickets by making the prices cheaper than paying money for a standard ticket. They will be introducing an additional new flat rate ticket that allows the user to travel a single journey across West Yorkshire for the price of £2.00. However, this saving incentive and others are only offered to those who can afford a smart phone, or know how to use one.
Yes, technology is advancing; using less paper is ecologically sound; and bus drivers will be safer, by having less need to carry money from the bus to the paying-in-office. Yet the fact still remains that there are people, who are financially challenged, being left to pay greater fare amounts; greater fare amounts each year and greater fare amounts in comparison to smart phone users.
This is a sore point with many people who have seen their bus services: halved in frequency or split into two separate services; missing; late; full of school children that opt out of using school bus services. The list could go on. Perhaps other South Leeds Life readers would like to add to the list.
Passengers cannot do much about the annual fare increases because First Bus appear to have a public transport monopoly. But, perhaps First Bus could do something about their mobile technology that is punishing those who do not own or can not afford a smart phone. I would hope that large organisations, such as First Bus, would have more empathy for the less fortunate.
I wonder if South Leeds Life readers, who may be effected by the fare increase and the seemingly preferential treatment toward smart phone users, think that it would be just as beneficial if First Bus were to create a top-up card, similar to the ‘MCard’. This could make it possible for both smart phone and non-smart phone owners to go paper-free and access the same fare deals. There could also be the addition of collecting frequent journey points to use towards purchasing a ticket. This kind of card would promote passenger equality and fairness. That is if First Bus want to be seen as promoting equality and fairness.
First Bus fare increases for Sunday, 27th October 2019 can be accessed using the following link: www.firstgroup.com/leeds/tickets/ticket-types/fare-changes-27th-october-2019.
This post was written by Paul Hindmarch
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2 Replies to “Unfair bus fares”
Think the MCard is a much fairer option. Their new system is unfair , penalising those without smart phones.
I do agree that the MCard would be advantageous for those that do not have access to a Smart Phone. However I think that most people in Leeds do already have a smart phone. For the few who do not and want to take advantage of this then it is relatively easy to buy an older smartphone either via the various shops around Leeds that offer second hand phones for sale or via the internet. These older phones retail at vastly less prices than a new one and are just as capable of utilising this system as the new ones. An alternative method of getting an older style smartphone is if one of your family members is upgrading their phone they could pass it on to those who do not have one. The advantage of this is that the phone continues to be used and the person using it had an ‘expert’ to hand who can not only demonstrate how to use it but sort out any problems they may have.
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