By Paula Ugochukwu
Stagecoach Yorkshire have withdrawn price increases for student bus tickets less than three weeks after they were imposed, following a public backlash.
The initial decision to increase the price of a student single bus ticket from £1 to £1.20 was not taken lightly by students from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
Many students took to Twitter to present their annoyance, one tweeting: “From 70p in 2013 to £1.20”
Students returning to Sheffield for the new academic year were met with the 20% hike in price, which was initially put in place on September 12.
Single child concession bus tickets were also increased during the same week, rising from 70p to 80p.
But on October 5, they announced that the student bus fare increase was being reversed back to the original price.
While Stagecoach have not publically explained the reasoning behind the primary increase or the backtrack of the bus fares, a nationwide cut of over £8.4m to the public transport budget has been cited as a potential reason.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, said: “We have not been able to avoid the impact of cuts completely.
Whilst this is not a route we want to take, our reduced budget has forced difficult decisions.”
The SYPTE is the local governmental body responsible for public transport in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley.
Green Party candidate Coun. Robert Murphy, said: “Sheffield’s once famous bus service is a shadow of its former self following 30 years of declining patronage under different council administrations and national governments.”
First South Yorkshire, the competing bus service provider in Sheffield, have not shown any signs of intending to change their fares.