School uniforms to serve as pupils' ID for half-fare bus tickets from 2018
School pupils across the district will no longer have to prove their age when boarding buses while wearing school uniforms from 2018.
Automatic half-fares will be issued to those in uniform instead of having to prove their age through photocards.
The decision comes from an agreement between First West Yorkshire, Arriva, Transdev, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Association of Bus Operators in West Yorkshire (ABOWY).
Bus18 was a programme launched between the operators in March 2017 to encourage more young people to use buses and remove any issues preventing them from travelling.
One of them highlighted was the use of the photocards.
Students from several schools were invited to celebrate the landmark decision, including pupils from St Thomas a Becket Catholic College in Wakefield.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport chairman, Coun Keith Wakefield, said: “The Combined Authority has already extended its concessions scheme to make half-fare bus travel available to 16 to 18-year-olds to help them access training and apprenticeship opportunities.
“Now, thanks to this new Bus18 measure, I‘m pleased to see that bus travel is being made more convenient for young people travelling to school and on journeys after school and look forward to finding out more about the new young people’s money-saving Bus18 ‘go anywhere’ day ticket for young people, planned for 2018.”
Alex Hornby, CEO for Transdev Blazefield: “One of the key aims of Bus18 was to make buses easier to use for young people, and improving the relationship between bus operators and our customers. This new, common-sense approach places more trust in young people and makes it easier for them to use the bus, with less barriers and less conflict.
Improvements to information displays are being rolled out across West Yorkshire’s 14,000 bus stops and shelters thanks to Bus18 and work is underway on a £1m programme of work to ease congestion at 28 bus hotspots across the county.
A ‘no quibble’ free journey guarantee for any customer not happy with their bus journey, and a refund for a taxi journey home if the last bus that night fails to show within 20 minutes of the scheduled time have also been introduced.