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Andy C

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  1. Indeed. London it is contactless or smart only, no cash. However seniors, disabled and children all travel free of charge at taxpayers expense and there are local shops that sell Oyster cards all over London. They also have a cheap flat fare subsidised by the taxpayer that makes things simple too. I suspect from a customer service point of view, it would be brave to withdraw cash payment from buses in the North. Also not to forget most of the smaller bus operators do not yet have the facility to take card payment and it costs a lot of money to replace ticket machines!
  2. with First nationally it has been all about getting people to use their app, although the main goal is to significantly reduce the number of passengers buying tickets from the bus driver in order to reduce delays at bus stops. If they have developed an online sales facility at First that connects with their smart card back office system then there may be an announcement on that topic alongside fare/ticket changes whenever they announce that, of course this is pure speculation.
  3. the classic tram network currently only has 2 of the new Citylink trams operating the service, the rest are the old Siemens trams. I guess there will still be enough trams to provide the full service as long as none are required to be taken off for maintenance beyond what is normally done on nights. The other 4 Citylinks are tram-trains (3 for the passenger service and one on maintenance). I assume an announcement will be made in due course and it will be in Stadler's interest to get them up and running as soon as possible, their reputation in the UK isn't great at the moment given Greater Anglia train company are having issues with their new Stadler trains!
  4. As far as I am aware, if First don't currently sell their tickets that way then it will only be Travelmaster products (ie Citybus, Citwide and SY Connect). However First haven't yet announced their 2020 fares change. Stagecoach already fulfill Megarider tickets sold online onto smart cards on board buses and trams, the scan may take slightly longer but not to a noticeable degree.
  5. currently you can buy Travelmaster tickets online but require the Travelmaster app to load it onto the smart card. From 2nd January ticket machines on services operated by First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Yorkshire and Stagecoach Supertram will also be able to fulfill online sales to smart cards (Currently the Stagecoach smart back office can only fulfill online sales made via the Stagecoachbus.com website and the First smart back office cannot handle online transactions). To load a product purchased online to a smartcard on board a bus or tram requires nothing more than scanning the card in the normal way.
  6. I was under the impression Powells had finally corrected the mistakes on their destination displays, the two notables being "Manner Top" and "Healey" both on route 10/10a. Powells, based in Rotherham, used to be an independent family owned bus and coach company but is now owned by Hackney Community Transport (HCT) and recently won a load of Sheffield tendered bus service contracts, many at the expense of Sheffield Community Transport and TM Travel.
  7. And here are the Stagecoach ticket changes: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/yorkshire/ticket-changes-january-2020 Other than the usual annual price increase (inflation and all that) there is a little bit of ticket simplification. The Stagecoach bus only tickets are withdrawn* (alternative is Citybus by Travelmaster) whilst the Sheffield Bus & Tram, Dearne Valley Bus & Tram and South Yorkshire Plus tickets are all merged into one "Silver" product valid on all Stagecoach buses and trams in South Yorkshire and Chesterfield (so the choice of Stagecoach tickets will be "Tram Only", "Silver" or "Gold" depending on the size of the area of travel you want. Like with the Travelmaster range, Stagecoach are offering cheaper prices for weekly tickets if purchased online rather than from a bus driver, which it is hoped will reduce the amount of time buses spend held up at stops whilst passengers buy tickets. * the Evening Rider and Weekend five travel for a fiver offers which are bus only will continue to be available.
  8. To explain the above tickets: Citybus - any bus in Sheffield Citywide - any bus and tram in Sheffield District Connect - any bus and tram in Rotherham OR Barnsley OR Doncaster SY Connect/Getabout - any bus and tram in South Yorkshire (Getabout is the child version for concessionary pass holders) SY Connect+/Getabout+ - any bus, tram and local train in South Yorkshire (Getabout+ is the child version for concessionary pass holders) The 18-21 discount is available to those holding an 18-21 discount card buying from the self service vending machines at selected bus interchanges. Off vehicle sales channels are: online (sytravelmaster.com), self service vending machines and payzone shops. Day tickets are also on the First & Stagecoach bus apps, rail inclusive tickets are also available from the ticket office at staffed railway stations.
  9. TravelMaster Prices from 2nd January 2020 Off-Vehicle Pricing from Jan 2 2020 1-Day 7-Day 28-Day Annual CityBus £4.70 £16.30 £61.20 £703.80 CityWide £5.10 £17.50 £65.60 £754.4 District Connect £5.00 £17.30 £64.90 £746.35 SYConnect £7.00 £23.50 £88.20 £1,014.30 SYConnect+ £8.80 £30.60 £114.60 £1,318.00 GetAbout £2.60 £8.30 £33.20 – GetAbout+ £4.00 £14.00 £56.00 – 18-21 Pricing from Jan 2 2020 1-Day 7-Day 28-Day CityBus £4.00 £13.80 £52.00 CityWide £4.30 £14.80 £55.70 District Connect £4.25 £14.70 £55.10 SYConnect £5.90 £19.90 £74.90 SYConnect+ £7.40 £26.00 £97.40 On-Board Pricing from Jan 2 2020 1-Day 7-Day CityBus £4.70 £17.50 CityWide £5.10 £18.50 District Connect £5.00 £18.50 SYConnect £7.00 £26.00 SYConnect+ £8.80 £30.60 GetAbout £2.60 £9.00 GetAbout+ £4.00 £14.00
  10. The York-Sheffield local service is a bit of an obscure one - if you are travelling from York to Sheffield you would generally get the Cross Country Intercity service, Moorthorpe-Sheffield is covered by the hourly Leeds to Sheffield service and York-Ulleskelf/Sherburn is covered by the regular York-Leeds service, so you only really rely on this train for travel to/from Pontefract. It sounds like they cancelled those York trains to free up drivers to train on the new fleet.
  11. The annual price changes on many operators are implemented in the new year. First up is the announcement from Travelmaster where the big news is the introduction of discounts being offered for those who buy tickets in advance of travel, options include app, website, vending machines and paypoint shops. https://sytravelmaster.com/2020-prices/
  12. As mentioned above, the new timetables come into effect this coming Sunday. Northern's brand new class 195 trains have already started appearing on a few trips through Sheffield on the Leeds-Sheffield-Lincoln/Nottingham route and will be progressively taking over those services on the new timetable until all the fast trains on that route are new trains. The other express service Northern runs out of Sheffield is Sheffield-Hull-Bridlington has already been modernised with class 170 "Turbostar" trains operating all services, these trains came second hand from Scotrail and have been refurbished. Northern's local services (Sheffield-Manchester, Sheffield-Gainsborough, Sheffield-Hull, Sheffield-Leeds via Rotherham, Sheffield-Leeds via Castleford, Sheffield-Adwick via Rotherham and Sheffield-York via Pontefract are starting to benefit from cascaded stock and will be operated by a refurbished mixture of the various classes of ex BR "Sprinter" trains (class 150 Sprinter, class 153 single car Sprinter, class 156 Super Sprinter and class 158 Express Sprinter) with the "Pacer" railbus fleet gradually being withdrawn and going for scrap, all should be gone by summer 2020. On Tram Train there are changes to the evening service with later last departures although early morning and Sunday services are reduced slightly in frequency to half hourly. The Purple route tram, which is poorly used, is also reduced to half hourly all day every day, although there is a slight improvement in a later last departure for Herdings Monday-Saturday.
  13. You pay for the class of accommodation that suits your needs and budget, it is called choice. If you simply want to be transported from A to B at an economical cost you buy a Standard class ticket, if you want a little more comfort, space and facilities then you pay for the premium accommodation. In the case of Avanti, which is the old Virgin Trains West Coast route (London Euston to Birmingham/Manchester/Liverpool/Glasgow), I haven't looked closely at their new on board offer but on Virgin the First class ticket price included not only a bigger, comfier seat but also complimentary food and drink.
  14. Derby Tup mentioned the Dore bus, hence the reference. The 52/52a is much quieter in summer - there are no students at the Universities and many commuters are on holiday too. It is also worth noting that when high frequency routes suffer disruption from traffic congestion etc they can bunch, you a bus that looked quiet may have almost caught up a rather full one that is running late. In terms of whether the service has been cut to provide for longer journey times on the 52/52a is harder to judge. The 52 has been cut back to just run to Crookes instead of Hillsborough which will save a couple of buses and like other routes the frequency was reduced over the summer when demand is lower (however unlike the 97/98 it was reinstated in the autumn). The 52a however has seen some trips extended up to Loxley, replacing the withdrawn service 31.
  15. First of all, there are a lot of 52 and 52a buses because there are a lot of people using them. They serve 2 Universities, the Childrens Hospital and Weston Park hospital as well as a number of well populated areas and the City Centre. It also suffers poor timekeeping due to many traffic congestion blackspots along the route. The 81 to Dore is a lower frequency because less people want to travel along that route. The 97/98 does suffer poor punctuality/reliability. At Hillsborough it is congested when cars are allowed through the bus/tram gate, especially at school run time. It is also congested on the Northern General Hospital-Wicker section and along Abbeydale Road. More and more has been added to the scheduled journey time to allow for congestion but it is still an issue and of course the frequency has had to be cut due to the longer journey times (as there are still only the same number of vehicles available!). As for passengers boarding slowly, First have taken initiatives to encourage people to use their app or vending machines to buy before boarding but not everyone wishes to do that. For Totley, probably worth mentioning that TM Travel's 218 service also runs there alongside the 97, and TM have changed the route to avoid congestion on Abbeydale Road.
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