University “pleased” with 66 bus service despite complaints

The comments were made in a letter from the University to YUSU explaining their decision to change bus providers

The University procurement office have justified their controversial decision to switch the campus bus service from Transdev to FirstGroup, Nouse has learned.

A letter sent to Ben Leatham by the University’s head of procurement, Rob Hunt details how the decision was reached by the University, after consultation with various stakeholders.

Image: Chris Owen

Image: Chris Owen

The letter explains in detail that the cost was not the main reason for the switch, stating that only 30 per cent of the criteria related directly to cost and subsidy, meaning that the other 70 per cent of the criteria related to quantitative data. However, the letter does state that FirstGroup’s bid for the contract would present a £1 million saving in subsidy for the University over the life of the contract, based on the current fare levels. Indeed, the letter says that the reduction in subsidy is to be used to fund other campus improvement but no further detail is provided.

The University does concede that they are aware of some interruptions to the service to the UoY66 and state that they will have regular meetings to rectify any issues. The letter concludes that the University is pleased with the new service operated by FirstGroup and that the University believes that First will provide “an improved service compared to this time last year and better value for money”.

However, the decision was controversial with students at the time with many claiming that the quality of the service has declined, with poor time-keeping being a common complaint.

A particular complaint by students has been UoY66 buses arriving at the same time and not every six to seven minutes as is advertised.

YUSU president Ben Leatham compiled a list of complaints from students, which were published on his official Facebook account, ranging from arriving late to rudeness of FirstGroup staff which were presented to FirstGroup at a review meeting.

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