Thursday, 5 November 2009

Nationwide first for BathRider bus ticket but at a cost

Bus passengers will be able to travel as many times as they want on Bath bus services whatever the operator because of a bus season ticket scheme created by Bath & North East Somerset Council and introduced by the commercial bus operators in Bath. Both Day and Week tickets will be available for adults and children.

The BathRider Scheme is a national first where a Council has used powers under the Transport Act 2000 to make a ticket scheme. All operators in the city are required to take part in the scheme which starts November 9th 2009.

Complex negotiations with commercial bus operators have taken place over the past six months. The Council is grateful to them for their co-operation, assistance, and advice in getting to a workable solution that will offer worthwhile benefits for passengers. Amongst those to benefit the scheme are children going to Ralph Allen School who need two buses to go to school and University students and staff who need more than one bus to get to campus. The ticket is not applicable to Park & Ride services or tour buses.

How does the BathRider work?

Passengers can buy their Daily or Weekly BathRider scratch cards at Bath Bus station; Tourist Information Centre – Abbey Churchyard; Tourism Centre –Bath Spa railway station (Platform 1); STA shop – Bath University.

When the date of travel is scratched off the ticket is then valid for the whole of that day. If it’s a weekly ticket the ticket is sealed over and is then valid for 7 days from the date scratched off. There is no limit to the number of times the ticket can be used that day or week, but the ticket must be shown to the driver each time it is used. The price (set by the bus operators) will be : Daily - £4.95 Adult/ £3.70 Child; Weekly - £17.50 Adult/ £16.50 Child.

Although we welcome the scheme we are concerned at the cost with a all day ticket costing £4.95 over a pound more than First Bus already exorbitant £3.90 for and all day ticket that is more expensive than the same one that they offer in Bristol. The cost of the Child weekly at £16.50 is rather over the top. We would suggest to Bus users that they check the most economical way to travel when they get on the bus.

In these cash straped times the bus companies should be thinking of users not their profit margins.

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