New bus ticket set to transform services

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RIVAL bus companies in Sheffield have come together to offer a new ticket which council bosses say have the potential to “transform services in the city.”

From this Sunday, October 30, passengers using the popular 52 route will be able to use their tickets on both First and Stagecoach service.

Timetables along the route, which connects Hillsborough and Woodhouse via the city centre and the student areas of Crookes and Broomhill, will also be co-ordinated, to reduce waiting times between buses.

The service, to be called “Optio Red”, is the brainchild of the Optio partnership, which comprises First, Stagecoach, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and will also soon include Sheffield Council.

The first Optio route, “Optio Orange”, was launched in July on routes between Fulwood, the city centre and Halfway.

David Brown, director general of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “This second phase of the Optio partnership will see one of the most popular routes in the city offering greater choice to the customer.

“By having more timetable co-ordination people should have less time to wait for their bus, and it means less pollution as well.”

Customers can buy either an Optio Red day ticket or an Optio Red weekly Ticket, which will then be valid on any service 52 bus from either First or Stagecoach.

Buses will display a sign or logo to identify that they are part of the new network.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, praised the introduction of the service.

He said: “I believe the Optio initiative has the potential to transform bus services in the city and this second trial route marks an important stage in the trial.

“We will therefore be following its introduction to see if it delivers the more streamlined, more frequent service that passengers want.”