First Glasgow offer further information on fares revisions ahead of parliamentary debate on bus services in Glasgow
Local bus operator First Glasgow is providing further details of its recent fare changes which saw many price freezes and reductions back in early January, as the Scottish Parliament prepares to debate a motion on bus services in Glasgow.
First Glasgow has been challenged from some areas regarding greater detail behind our mobile ticketing strategy which seeks to encourage more customers to purchase tickets on their mobile device. This strategy is centred on providing a greater level of discount for some tickets purchased on mobile as this convenient method of payment can allow for significant reductions in the boarding times of buses in turn reducing journey times for all customers.
First Glasgow and the bus industry in general, are faced with the ever-increasing problem of congestion as one of the main reasons for spiralling operating costs, but yet it is something they cannot control.
Something that can be addressed, however, is time spent at the bus stop dealing with cash. This is simply unaffordable in the modern urban bus network. ‘Smart’ methods of ticketing allow much faster boarding and thus, allowing the bus to keep moving and provide a more punctual journey.
Prices of some mobile mTicket products were frozen as part of our very limited fares revision early in 2017 and First Glasgow has done the same again for 2018.
Graeme Macfarlan Commercial Director for First Glasgow said “We have seen a significant rise in uptake of the mTicket products since their inception and this figure is forecasted to continue its massive growth in the year ahead. 38% of customers compared to just 16% last year are now buying mTickets on a weekly basis and I fully expect this growth to continue.”
A child single fare purchased on-bus increase from 70p to £1 has been one of the main talking points, yet it has been held at or below the previous level since 2011, so even with this adjustment still represents great value, particularly compared to the same ticket in other cities.
There is great news for parents wanting to sort out their children’s travel costs in advance as they can now purchase tickets on the mobile app and download them to their child’s phone removing the need for their child to handle cash, making it easier to manage travel costs.
First Glasgow also announced that the child network mTicket was reduced from £2.10 to £1.50, with just one lower price for accompanied and unaccompanied children. The ticket is still available on bus at £2 a day. There is further good news for families as the price of the city zone and local zone off-peak family tickets fell from £10.00 to £9.00.
Smartphone ownership in Scotland continues to rise and so, like many other business across every sector, First Bus will continue to strive to meet the demand for faster and convenient ways to provide access to tickets for customers via mobile ticketing. A recent OFCOM report into the uptake of web-enabled phones by age group (Glasgow City Council area) reports that 100% of people between the age of 25 & 44 own a web-enabled smartphone. * (see attached figures in editors notes)
Aligning with customer expectations, people can now pay quickly and without the need for change using contactless, Apple Pay and Android Pay on all First Glasgow buses.
An area of the parliamentary motion was about service changes and routes being withdrawn or reduced without consultation of local residents. The 4A service quoted has not been altered in terms of service offering or route since October 2016. At that time the service was withdrawn from Knightswood and Kelvindale and now operates from Broomhill – Eaglesham or Newton Mearns via Glasgow City Centre. On the same date, Service X4 was introduced operating from Knightswood – Glasgow city centre. Service M4 was introduced operating between Anniesland and Kelvindale.
First Glasgow Managing Director, Andrew Jarvis, said: “We are modernising our overall ticket offer with a huge expansion of mobile tickets as well as switching on contactless payments across all services in December. The rule of thumb for customers is to switch to mTickets if you haven’t already done so as that is the way to beat the price increases on most of our tickets.
“The unaccompanied child day ticket at £2.10 was replaced by a cheaper child day ticket at £2 or even cheaper at £1.50 on a mobile, whilst weekly kids tickets were also frozen or reduced on mobile. Some family tickets were frozen as well as others reduced, as the Company’s range of products evolves to a changing market.”