Ticket deal will give bus travellers better choice

Just the ticket: Students Mark Maguire and Adam Stokes.
Just the ticket: Students Mark Maguire and Adam Stokes.

SHARED ticketing arrangements on a second Sheffield bus route are being launched this weekend.

The Optio Red scheme starts from Sunday on the 52 route between Woodhouse and Hillsborough, via Darnall, the city centre, Broomhill and Crookes.

It means passengers will be able to use certain tickets on both First and Stagecoach buses, allowing them to get on the first one that comes along.

Timetables along the route will be co-ordinated to reduce intervals between buses, so passengers should not have to wait as long.

The partnership is the second to be launched in Sheffield, after a similar arrangement on services between Halfway, the city centre, Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Fulwood, called Optio Orange.

Passengers catching the 52 will be able to buy Optio Red day tickets for £3 and weekly tickets for £9, which can be used on either company’s buses. First and Stagecoach’s own brand Sheffield day and week tickets will still be valid on the route.

David Brown, director general of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “This second phase of the Optio partnership will see one of the most popular routes in the city offering greater choice to the customer.

“By having more timetable co-ordination people should have less time to wait for their bus, and it means less pollution as well.”

Dave Alexander, regional managing director for First, said: “We will continue to work hard to ensure the success of Optio and I remain confident the additional benefits to customers will stimulate additional use of bus services in Sheffield.”

Stagecoach Yorkshire managing director Paul Lynch added: “We are delighted to be rolling out the Optio initiative aimed at increasing passenger numbers on a second route in Sheffield. It will bring greater travel flexibility to passengers.”