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First York
logo
Parent FirstGroup
Headquarters Tanner Row, York
James St, York (Depot)
Service area York, Leeds (1 Service)
Service type Bus
Routes Routes Include York Park and Ride
Operator FirstGroup
Web site www.firstgroup.com

First York is the largest bus operator in York, England. It is part of First Group, a major bus and train operator with a turnover of nearly £2.5 billion a year and 62,000 employees across the UK and North America.[1] The York depot is in James Street, and maintains a fleet of 106 buses.

Contents

Fleet

A breakdown of the buses operated by First York is as follows:

2001 and 2002 were significant years, for they marked the arrival of the B7Ls, B6BLEs, B7TLs and Optare Solos - 86 new vehicles in the space of a two year period represented significant investment in the First York fleet. Many buses replaced over the years have been DAF SB220s, both steps entrance and low floor Dennis Darts, Leyland Olympians, Leyland Leopards, Leyland Nationals, Leyland Atlanteans, Scania L113s, Mercedes-Benz 709Ds. For a short while during 2006 First York operated Dennis Tridents from Somerset and also a few Optare Solos before Veolia took over a few routes. A number of Wright Crusader 2s were cascaded to other First companies as newer buses arrived in 2008. The 9 Wright Eclipse Fusion bendibuses have also left the fleet. As of 26 January 2009, 15 articulated Mercedes-Benz Citaros have been introduced to First York's fleet.

Services

A Wright Crusader 2 on route 12

There are thirteen colour-coded Overground routes (numbers 1-13) which operate at weekday frequencies of between eight and thirty minutes, and a limited number of other services with less intensive frequencies.[2]

First York also operates the city's Park & Ride network

Between 27 February 2007 and 26 April 2009 , First York operated a service linking the city with Leeds Bradford Airport. This was branded as service 120 York Aircoach/Airlink. It was based on a model and brand successfully used by Aircoach, a sister FirstGroup company operating to and from Dublin Airport.[3] 4 Volvo B10M-62 coaches previously operated by First Coaches and First Trafford Park were acquired for this operation. The coaches were fleet numbered 20461,2,3,4 regeds X191,2,3,4HFB. All wore First Excel coach branding with additional "York Aircoach" branding applied. 20463 has now transferred to First Essex and 20464 is set for transfer to First Cymru. The service was later rebranded as "York Airlink 787" to recognise that coaches were replaced by standard fleet single deckers on the route. This airport route was withdrawn on 26th April 2009 due to low patronage.

Unlike First Companies in many other cities the usage of route branding is somewhat limited on the York fleet. Apart from the heavily branded Park and Ride vehicles and the ftr's on route 4, few if any other vehicles carry route branding. In the past route branding existed on a number of routes including; No.1,5,6,10 and York Aircoaches.

First in York services are:

No. Type From To Via Notes
1 Blue Line Wiggington Chapelfields City Centre, Acomb
2 Green Line
Park&Ride
Rawcliffe Bar City Centre Serves Rawcliffe Bar park and ride site.
3 White Line
Park&Ride
Askham Bar City Centre Serves Askham Bar park and ride site.
4 Mauve Line
ftr
University Acomb City Centre
4U Uni Link University Rail Station City Centre Uni term time only
5 Orange Line Strensall City Centre Huntington
5 Orange Line Strensall Acomb Green Lane Rail Station, Huntington
6 Purple Line Clifton Moor University of York Osbaldwick, City Centre Extension to York University from Oct 3rd
7 Red Line
Park&Ride
York Designer Outlet City Centre Fulford Serves York Designer Outlet park and ride site.
8 Yellow Line
Park&Ride
Grimston Bar City Centre Serves Grimston Bar park and ride site
9 Silver Line
Park&Ride
Monks Cross City Centre Serves Monks Cross park and ride site.
10 Claret Line Stamford Bridge Poppleton Dunnington, City Centre Some Journeys Operated by York Pullman from 26/04/09
11 Indigo Line Ashley Park Bridge Bishopsthorpe City Centre, South Bank
12 Pink Line Haxby Acomb Park City Centre,- Askham Bar
13 Brown Line Monks Cross Copmanthorpe Heworth, City Centre, Askham Bar
13A Brown Line Monks Cross Copmanthorpe Heworth Woodlands Grove, City Centre, Askham Bar
24 Grey Line City Centre Fulford Broadway Friday only, 1 journey
X64 Leeds Express York Leeds Tadcaster & Seacroft Monday-Saturday
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York park and ride

Wright bodied single decker on Park & Ride route 3 at York railway station, in April 2008

York also has its own park and ride service, operated by First York. It was designed to relieve York's overcrowded car parks. These services form a large part of First York's high frequency overground network and are shown in the table above.

York Racecourse Shuttle

First York shuttle buses to and from York Railway Station and the racecourse on racedays only, starting at approximately 11:30 am from outside the Royal York Hotel (next to the Station) and the last bus departs the racecourse half an hour after the last race.

FTR

In May 2006, First York became the first bus operator in the UK to introduce Volvo/Wright StreetCars as part of the 'ftr' scheme being trialled in the city. A partnership between First Group, Wright Group and City of York Council, ftr is marketed as a "truly groundbreaking service...the future of travel."[4] Eleven articulated StreetCars now operate on the number 4 route which links the University of York, the City Centre and the suburb of Acomb. Each bus can carry 42 seated and 71 standing passengers.

These buses contain a driving compartment separating the 'pilot'(i.e. driver) from the passengers, and will use satellite tracking technology to give traffic light priority to late running buses. Much was made in the marketing of the ftr of the ability to buy 'm-tickets' on mobile phones, and prepaid tickets which can be scanned by the ticket machines. However, the automated ticket system was a failure as there was a high incidence of technical problems, and the machines were taken out of operation and boarded over. As a result, First York was forced to employ further conductors.

The ftr scheme has been largely unpopular with people in York for a number of reasons, such as problems with ticketing, pricing, buses not running to schedule, and difficulties caused by the excessive length of the vehicles. Protest has been espescially heated among students, and the York University Student Union is engaged in negotiations with First York to introduce student discounts.

The ftr scheme has led to extension of bus stop areas to accommodate the length of these vehicles, however in many cases this has been done in contravention of the guidance given in the council's highway design document leading to ftr's blocking the road at keep left bollards, thus causing unnecessary congestion and frustration for other road users. In 2009 First replaced the ftr with conventional buses on evenings and on Sundays.

See also

References

  1. ^ Stuart Martin, Bill Potter and David Donati (eds.), "2005 First Bus Handbook", page 5. British Bus Publishing, 2005
  2. ^ First York website - 6th April 2006
  3. ^ "Aircoach". FirstGroup. http://www.firstgroup.com/corporate/our_company/aircoach.php. Retrieved 2008-05-20.  
  4. ^ First Group's ftr website - 6th April 2006

External links


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