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Highway Robbery

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Outrage has erupted amongst students and the Leeds community as a local bus company have increased some of their fares by over 10 per cent.
FirstBus have recently raised their minimum fare for its ‘Longer Hop’ from £1.70 to £1.90. A petition has been created in the hope of trying to improve the service that customers receive.
Although the fare for a short journey has remained at £1, the petition claims that this increase in fares for journeys over four stops was barely advertised. It came into force from September 26. The only place that seemed to notify passengers of this increase in price of a single journey was the Firstbus website; however there was nothing on board the buses to advertise this change.
A statement on the First group website said: “We are very conscious of the effect of price rises on bus travellers in West Yorkshire and consider very carefully any change that affects our customers. We are faced however; with rising costs in such areas as pensions and insurance.”
The petition reads that “Regulation and support from Metro would help bring more standard fares across all bus companies running a public service,” and this would mean that the companies would get their fares subsidised for providing a proper service, and would mean that the public would receive a better service instead of companies merely improving their profit margins.
People who signed the petition feel that the service which FirstBus provides is just not good enough for the price they are paying. One comment on the website’s petition says:
“First are a joke. My bus route boasts a bus every ten mins or less. This is simply not true. I catch the bus from town at around 6pm every night and often wait for 15 mins or more. This is rush hour/prime time and on a major trunk route. The bus is also full and the queues speak for themselves. Rubbish. As for the fares – a quid for 4 stops – get real. How about a quid across Leeds.”
The online petition is calling for people who live in Leeds to sign for a “better, more regular and economical service.” The petition and its comments are being put together in order to induce a regular bus service at a reasonable price. They hope for “a regular service in our community with an honest fare”
The petition can be found at www.lovinleeds.com/first. There is also a Facebook Group called “Fair Fares for all in Leeds”

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