Passengers complain as bus fares go up

Oxford Mail: Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall Buy this photo Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall

PASSENGERS have criticised a series of bus price hikes due to start hitting their wallets from tomorrow.

Oxford Bus Company said years of price freezing was behind its “regrettable” decision to raise fares 15 per cent in some cases. Stagecoach also announced price rises.

But commuters have branded the cost of using public transport in Oxford unreasonable.

Weekly, monthly, 13-week, annual, any-five-day and pay-monthly charges will go up for both adult and child tickets on Oxford Bus Company’s Cityzone and South Oxfordshire services.

Cityzone covers much of greater Oxford, from Kidlington, to Kennington, Botley, Wheatley, Garsington and Blackbird Leys.

Abingdon route prices will also go up.

It said the money would help fund 19 new hybrid buses in a bid to bolster its green credentials and cut fuel bills. But service users have complained.

Commuter Richard Malloy, 52, a chef from Forest Hill, said: “Wages aren’t going up, so why are the bus prices rising? There’s no reason for it.”

And student Joe Mowczan, 20, of Harcourt Hill, added: “I’m at university, but when my friends and family come to visit they comment on how expensive the bus prices are. Oxford’s prices are more expensive than London, it’s really bad.”

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Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall said: “No-one likes to pay more and we haven’t made the changes lightly. However, our costs are constantly rising, the Government’s 18 per cent increase in the fuel tax bus companies pay is now having a big impact. Other business costs and expenses are rising too.

“In the past we’ve managed to go for several years without an increase but regrettably we can’t absorb the extra costs we face any longer.

“We appreciate that in recent years times have been difficult, leading to a strain on personal and family budgets.

“These fare changes will ensure that we can continue to provide an excellent value, high-quality service into the future.

“The park-and-ride key products, X90 and airline prices will not increase at this time.”

Stagecoach spokesman Robyn North said: “SmartZone fares will increase from Sunday.

“We are experiencing the same cost increases as other transport operators so we are continually reviewing our prices and fares. “The four-week, 13-week and one-year tickets will increase, but the one week, any-five-days and multi-trip tickets will stay at the same price.”

 

SOME OF THE INCREASES

Oxford Bus Company price hikes to the Cityzone:

  • One week: from £13 to £14
  • Four weeks: from £39 to £45
  • 13 weeks: from £104 to £120
  • One year: from £338 to £390

Oxford Bus Company price hikes to the South Oxfordshire Zone:

  • One week: from £18 to £20
  • Four weeks: from £54 to £60
  • 13 weeks: from £144 to £160
  • One year: from £468 to £520

For a full list of Oxford Bus Company changes, visit tinyurl.com/bzczhdz

Stagecoach price hikes to the SmartZone:

  • One week: no change at £15
  • Four weeks: from £45 to £50
  • 13 weeks: from £120 to £128
  • One year: from £390 to £420

For a full list of Stagecoach changes, visit tinyurl.com/ahn3ex8

Comments (11)

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8:46pm Sat 26 Jan 13

BartSimpson_ox says...

A one week pass goes up £1 yet a four week pass goes up £6??? Buses in Oxford are a complete rip off. It is cheaper for a family of four adults to drive into Oxford and pay the excessive car park charges than use the bus.
A one week pass goes up £1 yet a four week pass goes up £6??? Buses in Oxford are a complete rip off. It is cheaper for a family of four adults to drive into Oxford and pay the excessive car park charges than use the bus. BartSimpson_ox
  • Score: 0

10:03pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

BartSimpson_ox wrote:
A one week pass goes up £1 yet a four week pass goes up £6??? Buses in Oxford are a complete rip off. It is cheaper for a family of four adults to drive into Oxford and pay the excessive car park charges than use the bus.
Depends on your car of course, but 4 "dayrider" passes at £4.00 each would buy enough fuel to take my car 176 miles.

Did you know you can park at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London for just £5 for the whole day on weekdays and £8 for the whole day at weekends?

http://uk.westfield.
com/london/getting-t
here/car-park-rates/
[quote][p][bold]BartSimpson_ox[/bold] wrote: A one week pass goes up £1 yet a four week pass goes up £6??? Buses in Oxford are a complete rip off. It is cheaper for a family of four adults to drive into Oxford and pay the excessive car park charges than use the bus.[/p][/quote]Depends on your car of course, but 4 "dayrider" passes at £4.00 each would buy enough fuel to take my car 176 miles. Did you know you can park at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London for just £5 for the whole day on weekdays and £8 for the whole day at weekends? http://uk.westfield. com/london/getting-t here/car-park-rates/ Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:58am Sun 27 Jan 13

Myron Blatz says...

Isn't open market forces competition from the duopoly so marvellous? I mean, in Oxford the two main operators serve similar or same routes, with same fares - so no benefit to passengers from competitive fares. Likewise, that because of enviro-regulation in Oxford, both Stagecoach and Oxford Bus/Thames Travel have to use enviro-friendly vehicles instead of polluting old bangers - such as Stagecoach still uses on the 16/16A services to Littlemore and Donnington. Nor are the claims that they haven't increased fares for a couple of years acceptable,as the Country faces tripple-dip recession and people on the bread-line. The problem id that like railways, buses are no longer 'public transport' but owned and run as private commercial enterprises, to make profits for greedy shareholders. Successive governments have wanted the public to forsake their cars and utilise public transport - yet bus and train fares continue to rise, and continue to make a fiasco out of the concept of both cheap and plentiful public transport, and sustainable environmental change. Nor do we need buses chugging to and from Blackbird Leys every four minutes, when other parts of Oxford and Oxfordshire either don't have a bus service, or like Stagecoach 16 and 17 services are total fiasco - for which bus users are expected to calmy accept, or complain and face being threatened that the operators will withdraw the services. The big national bus operators stop local companies being able to fairly compete, because they can offset low tender bids from money they make elsewhere, and though the main two operators may employ local staff, the profits don't stay in the City or County.
Isn't open market forces competition from the duopoly so marvellous? I mean, in Oxford the two main operators serve similar or same routes, with same fares - so no benefit to passengers from competitive fares. Likewise, that because of enviro-regulation in Oxford, both Stagecoach and Oxford Bus/Thames Travel have to use enviro-friendly vehicles instead of polluting old bangers - such as Stagecoach still uses on the 16/16A services to Littlemore and Donnington. Nor are the claims that they haven't increased fares for a couple of years acceptable,as the Country faces tripple-dip recession and people on the bread-line. The problem id that like railways, buses are no longer 'public transport' but owned and run as private commercial enterprises, to make profits for greedy shareholders. Successive governments have wanted the public to forsake their cars and utilise public transport - yet bus and train fares continue to rise, and continue to make a fiasco out of the concept of both cheap and plentiful public transport, and sustainable environmental change. Nor do we need buses chugging to and from Blackbird Leys every four minutes, when other parts of Oxford and Oxfordshire either don't have a bus service, or like Stagecoach 16 and 17 services are total fiasco - for which bus users are expected to calmy accept, or complain and face being threatened that the operators will withdraw the services. The big national bus operators stop local companies being able to fairly compete, because they can offset low tender bids from money they make elsewhere, and though the main two operators may employ local staff, the profits don't stay in the City or County. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

2:19am Sun 27 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

Why did nobody question the loies of Mr Southall. Oxford Bus Company have not frozen fares for the last months let alone years.
Why did nobody question the loies of Mr Southall. Oxford Bus Company have not frozen fares for the last months let alone years. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

8:45am Sun 27 Jan 13

Vernon Spools says...

I have only been in Oxford for a handful of years, but I can recall several price increases, or did I dream them!
I have only been in Oxford for a handful of years, but I can recall several price increases, or did I dream them! Vernon Spools
  • Score: 0

9:48am Sun 27 Jan 13

llmur1988 says...

Yes the price increase is annoying however all this means is that the prices are now back in line with 209, anyone remember PassPlus? That was £50 a month in 2009.

Also compared to other nearby cities, the new prices still offer great value. All of these for for 4 weeks/month

Reading Simply Bus £55
Reading Arriva £58
First Bristol £60
Stagecoach Swindon £75
Thamesdown Swindon £49.50

So compare Oxford prices to elsewhere and its very good value especially with the fact you can use 3 companies with one pass, unlike other places.
Yes the price increase is annoying however all this means is that the prices are now back in line with 209, anyone remember PassPlus? That was £50 a month in 2009. Also compared to other nearby cities, the new prices still offer great value. All of these for for 4 weeks/month Reading Simply Bus £55 Reading Arriva £58 First Bristol £60 Stagecoach Swindon £75 Thamesdown Swindon £49.50 So compare Oxford prices to elsewhere and its very good value especially with the fact you can use 3 companies with one pass, unlike other places. llmur1988
  • Score: 0

10:23am Sun 27 Jan 13

Vernon Spools says...

It is certainly worth comparing the price rises against the service, frequency, routes served, taxi prices, carparking prices etc, a comparison against another town or city is irrelevant when I don't live or work there.

There is little point pricing yourself out the market, where is is cheaper for two of us to get a taxi within the ringroad to be told, you could always move to Swindon!
It is certainly worth comparing the price rises against the service, frequency, routes served, taxi prices, carparking prices etc, a comparison against another town or city is irrelevant when I don't live or work there. There is little point pricing yourself out the market, where is is cheaper for two of us to get a taxi within the ringroad to be told, you could always move to Swindon! Vernon Spools
  • Score: 0

11:37am Sun 27 Jan 13

Feelingsmatter says...

That's quite a chunk out of your pay packet when you're on minimum wage.
That's quite a chunk out of your pay packet when you're on minimum wage. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

llmur1988 wrote:
Yes the price increase is annoying however all this means is that the prices are now back in line with 209, anyone remember PassPlus? That was £50 a month in 2009.

Also compared to other nearby cities, the new prices still offer great value. All of these for for 4 weeks/month

Reading Simply Bus £55
Reading Arriva £58
First Bristol £60
Stagecoach Swindon £75
Thamesdown Swindon £49.50

So compare Oxford prices to elsewhere and its very good value especially with the fact you can use 3 companies with one pass, unlike other places.
I know we can use the buses of Stagecoach, and The Go ahead Group, what is the 3rd company? And Mr 8 score draws, you are correct, you could order a mini-cab to take 4 of you from your house in Howard St for example to Carfax for £4 or wait for the bus in the rain and pay £8 for the same journey. Isn't privitisation, and a price fixing duopoly just marvelous. But as Thatcher said it will give us the general public a choice of companies to choose from and she was right. You can choose from Stagecoach who's price rises led to a half year profit rise of a whopping 49% in the half year to Dec of £124 million. Or Go-ahead who "only" made a £115 million profit for the whole year. P.S. your information on the price of passes is incorrect. EG The swindon price you quote £75 includes travel to, and ALL OVER Oxford, all over Wiltshire and even all of South Wales. The equivalent price for the same pass in Oxford is £106, I can't be bothered to compare the others that you quote but I am sure that they will be the same.
[quote][p][bold]llmur1988[/bold] wrote: Yes the price increase is annoying however all this means is that the prices are now back in line with 209, anyone remember PassPlus? That was £50 a month in 2009. Also compared to other nearby cities, the new prices still offer great value. All of these for for 4 weeks/month Reading Simply Bus £55 Reading Arriva £58 First Bristol £60 Stagecoach Swindon £75 Thamesdown Swindon £49.50 So compare Oxford prices to elsewhere and its very good value especially with the fact you can use 3 companies with one pass, unlike other places.[/p][/quote]I know we can use the buses of Stagecoach, and The Go ahead Group, what is the 3rd company? And Mr 8 score draws, you are correct, you could order a mini-cab to take 4 of you from your house in Howard St for example to Carfax for £4 or wait for the bus in the rain and pay £8 for the same journey. Isn't privitisation, and a price fixing duopoly just marvelous. But as Thatcher said it will give us the general public a choice of companies to choose from and she was right. You can choose from Stagecoach who's price rises led to a half year profit rise of a whopping 49% in the half year to Dec of £124 million. Or Go-ahead who "only" made a £115 million profit for the whole year. P.S. your information on the price of passes is incorrect. EG The swindon price you quote £75 includes travel to, and ALL OVER Oxford, all over Wiltshire and even all of South Wales. The equivalent price for the same pass in Oxford is £106, I can't be bothered to compare the others that you quote but I am sure that they will be the same. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

12:29am Mon 28 Jan 13

Myron Blatz says...

Maybe the saddest thing is how people seem to accept price-rises as 'the norm' and something we should simply accept like lemmings! By the way, anyone else think the seats on the supposedly expensive new Oxford Bus double-deckers are about as comfy as hard planks?
Maybe the saddest thing is how people seem to accept price-rises as 'the norm' and something we should simply accept like lemmings! By the way, anyone else think the seats on the supposedly expensive new Oxford Bus double-deckers are about as comfy as hard planks? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Maybe the saddest thing is how people seem to accept price-rises as 'the norm' and something we should simply accept like lemmings! By the way, anyone else think the seats on the supposedly expensive new Oxford Bus double-deckers are about as comfy as hard planks?
They are made that way to cope with the "night shift" I.E. People spilling their Kebabs, "cheesy Chips with chili sauce" and peeing all over them.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Maybe the saddest thing is how people seem to accept price-rises as 'the norm' and something we should simply accept like lemmings! By the way, anyone else think the seats on the supposedly expensive new Oxford Bus double-deckers are about as comfy as hard planks?[/p][/quote]They are made that way to cope with the "night shift" I.E. People spilling their Kebabs, "cheesy Chips with chili sauce" and peeing all over them. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

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