Advantages Good Value For Money
Disadvantages Can Get Crowded At Busy Times
|Quality of Rooms|
|Frequency of bus / buses|
|Value for money|
There are a few things in this world, which no matter how much money or effort the government throws at them they will always get a bad press.
The purpose of my latest review is to defend one such political pawn - public transport, or more accurately the First Mainline Bus Service.
I live in the centre of Sheffield less than 5 minutes walk from the main Interchange bus station and I travel to my work in Rotherham by bus every weekday. This is a distance of about 7 miles so by the end of the week I have clocked up around 70 miles on this route alone. Add onto this the smaller journeys I undertake over the weekend and the occasional evening and I reckon that I must average about 100 miles per week.All of this with the minimum of hassle……
So who exactly are First Mainline?The First Mainline group began operating in 1998, it was created from the amalgamation of several local bus companies which operated the routes until the middle of the 1970's. In 1970 these local companies were nationalised and operated under the newly formed SYPTE (South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive). Following de-regulation of all bus services in 1986 the local bus services were put once again back into the hands of commercial companies. First emerged from Midland Mainline, the largest of these operators and today, First in South Yorkshire is one of 24 bus operating companies, which makes up the bus division of First and together these make the First group the UK's largest bus company.
What do the buses look like?The majority of First Mainline buses in South Yorkshire are single decker. They come in two main colours. The first being yellow with a red horizontal stripe across the top and botton. The second are more predominant type are mainly white, with a lilac and violet stripe across the top and bottom.
How much does it all cost?There are many different prices and plenty of concessionary tickets available. I pay £15 for a 7 day saver which gives me unlimited travel on any bus within South Yorkshire.
Children under 16 and OAP 40p
FirstDay All Day Saver £2.50 (£3.00 if purchased before 9am)
FirstWeek 7 Day Saver Sheffield £12.50
Firstweek 7 Day Saver Doncaster £12.00
Firstweek 7 Day Saver Rotherham £12.00
FirstWeek South Yorkshire £15.00
FirstWeek Student Sheffield £8.00
FirstWeek Student South Yorkshire £10.00
FirstMonth Sheffield £43.00 (£41.00 online)
FirstMonth Doncaster £41.00 (£39.00 online)
FirstMonth Rotherham £41.00 (£39.00 online)
All bus timetables are available from the Customer Services at the bus stations are there are monitor screens on all platforms. Timetables are also available online at http://www.firstgroup.com
There is also the South Yorkshire Travel Line which can contacted on 01709 515151. They provide you with timetables and all the latest information on all First buses in South Yorkshire.
Everybody always moans about the buses not running on time, or having to wait ages for a bus and then two turn up together, but to be honest I have had very few problems. The bus I catch to work runs every hour and always leaves on time. The attitude of the drivers varies greatly but they all seem to be as courteous as you can expect at 7 o'clock in the morning.
With the sheer volume of people using their services everyday there are bound to be a few problems and in a busy city like Sheffield , some buses will always get stuck in traffic and not run on time.
I think its about time that people realise that they do offer a good service and they do offer good value for money.
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