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Author Topic: Avon Rider - new multi-operator bus ticket available from September 2012  (Read 13519 times)
bignosemac
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« on: July 27, 2012, 02:31:09 am »

A new day ticket called 'Avon Rider' offering unlimited travel across a range of bus operators in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset is to launch on September 2nd 2012. Adult price will be ^7.50.

News item from First:

Quote
A unique multi operator travelcard is set to be unveiled in the West of England benefitting bus users across the region.

The card, which will be known as the Avon Rider, will be made available to customers to buy on bus from Sunday 2 September 2012.

Having been developed in partnership by bus operators in the area, the card will allow unlimited travel on a number of different operators' services, including those provided by (in alphabetical order): Abus, Bath Bus Company, Bakers-Dolphin, Crosville Motor Services, Faresaver, First, North Somerset Coaches, Somerbus, Webber Bus and Wessex Connect.

At just ^7.20 per day for an introductory period (and ^7.50 thereafter) the ticket will offer unlimited travel for customers in the West of England region, enabling the user to travel in and around Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset using multiple services provided by all these operators for just one set price.

The scheme was developed by the operators working as part of the West of England Bus Operators Association (WEBOA). Other operators can join the scheme should they wish to.

The 'Avon' name as a geographical moniker, lives on.  Undecided
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 08:21:49 am »

"West of England Bus Operators Association" is a new group to me ... anyone know them?

Also announcing this:

http://www.faresaver.co.uk/newsitem.php?id=9462579

Faresaver are predominantly Wiltshire, which appears to be excluded from the ticket according to the initial blurb.  And yet it also says it includes "travel in and around Bath" so we might have expected it to cover at least as far as Box, and perhaps beyond.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 08:47:55 am »

One suspects that the area covered will be just those four local authorities. It'd be nice if it also included out of area services that start/end in the defined area.

Some talk on other, more bus orientated forums, that the ticket will be of a smartcard type. Not sure about that as the smaller operators may not be geared up to accept/check/validate such a medium.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 01:45:30 pm »

From the BBC:

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An unlimited daily travel card is now available for bus passengers in Bath, Bristol and North Somerset.


The adult travelcard can be purchased from the driver on board the bus

The Avon Rider card enables adult travellers to hop on and off all major buses in the former Avon area without being restricted to one bus company.

Cards cost ^7.20 per day and can be purchased from drivers on board buses.

David Fricker, from North Somerset Coaches, said it "shows we can all work together and do things for the benefit of passengers".

The new travelcard has been developed by the area's bus operators, in partnership.

"It's valid on almost every bus service, certainly the large bus operators such as First Group, Wessex Connect, Bath Bus Company and some of the smaller operators," said Mr Fricker.

"And the adult day ticket - this is the first step for us as operators - we're doing that to make sure we get that right before we bring in any other ticket types."
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 09:23:28 pm »

Purchased one of these today after deciding that I may as well combine a necessary trip to Portishead with an afternoon 'on the buses'.

Driver on my first, First bus(?!) took a little while to find it on his machine, first issuing a First Day South West. Had to patiently explain that I couldn't use that on other operators. He appeared somewhat confused and said that the FDSW was now valid on the other operators. Some poor training there methinks. He did eventually find the Avon Rider but then said there's no point buying it as it costs 20p more. He singularly failed to understand the concept of 'other operators' and was somewhat surprised by my insistence that this was the ticket I wanted.

On my way to Portishead I got chatting with a fellow passenger who lives in Abbots Leigh. This bloke said he wasn't looking forward to the Portishead rail line reopening as he was worried that the current bus services to Portishead would likely be cut once the trains are running. That's an interesting point and one I'm not sure the powers that be have considered. Trains to Portishead will obviously reduce the demand for buses to said town and that may well indeed have a knock on effect for places such as Bower Ashton, Leigh Woods, Abbots Leigh, Easton-in-Gordano and Portbury. Food for thought.

After collecting my PC bits and bobs from Novatech in Portishead I took a Bakers Dolphin service to Clevedon for a seaside stroll and a walk on the pier. The Bakers Dolphin driver's only comment on my ticket was, "that's the first one I've seen of them."

Good to see on Clevedon Pier that the brass name plaque, purchased by my mum and step-dad some 20 years ago, and embedded in one of the pier deck planks, is still in situ.

Back toward Bristol with First and guess what? The driver on the bus from Clevedon had no idea what an Avon Rider was. Only on seeing that it was issued by First did he accept it.  Roll Eyes

Another First bus to Shirehampton and the ticket got the nod.

Then, after a bit of shopping, Wessex Connect to Lawrence Weston. Ticket inspected and accepted.

Three different operators used during the day and the only issues encountered were with what can be regarded as the lead operator in Bristol and its environs. First.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 11:57:11 pm by bignosemac » Logged

Southern Stag
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 09:56:12 pm »

I've seen people having similar problems buying a Ride Cornwall ticket on First buses. It's only ^3 more than the First Day Cornwall but it allows travel on the other major bus operator, Western Greyhound, and all rail services. First drivers have had problems finding it on their machines, and insisting that the First Day Cornwall ticket is the one they want, why would anyone want to pay extra. I have never had problems when using a Ride Cornwall ticket on either operator's buses though.
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TonyK
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 09:11:28 pm »

After collecting my PC bits and bobs from Novatech in Portishead I took a Bakers Dolphin service to Clevedon for a seaside stroll and a walk on the pier. The Bakers Dolphin driver's only comment on my ticket was, "that's the first one I've seen of them."

Probably the last, too.

The point about buses going when the Portishead line reopens is a good one. Although nearly everyone in Abbots Leigh has at least two cars, that isn't everybody. It's about a half-hourly service at present, but that is certain to change with the advent of the train. It's a 40 - 45 minute journey from Bristol bus station to Posset, as opposed to 17 minutes on the train. The opening of that line is likely to lead to a big shake-up of all the bus services in the the geographical area formerly known as Avon, probably about 5 years late, but that's the way we do it round here.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 02:35:38 pm »

Two additional multi-operator tickets are now available to compliment the AvonRider.

The BristolRider is available for ^4.50 and can be used on all scheduled bus services in a defined area (see link below)

The WestonRider is also available for ^4.50 for use on services in the Weston-super-Mare area.

http://www.travelwest.info/avonrider

In common with the AvonRider these tickets are; Not valid on Bristol Airport Flyer, Sightseeing tour services, National Express, Megabus and First Greyhound services, nor on the section of Bath Bus Co service A4 between Bedminster Down and Bristol Airport. Not valid on any services between 2400 and 0500.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 02:42:44 pm by bignosemac » Logged

GBM
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 01:36:02 pm »

BNM hits the nail hard!
"Training" on items (especially new tickets) is mostly done with an A4 note on the wall.  Sometimes in colour, mostly copied, so generally black and white.
Some many on the walls to see, difficult to spot a new one.

Off for a few days (or week's leave), and spend a while looking around at all the notices, trying to spot the new ones on your return.
Done in your own time of course, as no official time added on for 'notice reading'
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 01:53:51 pm »

Headlines:

"AvonRider is a new ticket which you can use for as many journeys as you wish for a whole day"

"Buy your AvonRider on board just about any bus for unlimited travel around the West!"

Sounds good ...

Small print:

"It's valid for travel in the area bounded by: Weston-super-Mare, Norton Radstock, Bath, Chipping Sodbury, Thornbury, Avonmouth, Clevedon and Portishead."  Funny Definition of "The West"

"Not valid on Bristol Airport Flyer, Sightseeing tour services, National Express, Megabus and First Greyhound services, nor on the section of Bath Bus Co service A4 between Bedminster Down and Bristol Airport."  Funny definition of "unlimited travel"

"Not valid on any services between 2400 and 0500." Funny definition of "a whole day"

... so it's not the ticket that my customers are looking for ...

Now the interesting question for our customers arriving at Bristol Airport for the service, or leaving us.   "Where do I buy my ticket / can I get a through ticket / what does it cost?".   Experts answering the question - please note that customers may wish to travel between Bath and Melksham on Faresaver, on daytime First and on evening First, each of which has different fares / interchangability rules
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bignosemac
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 03:58:19 pm »

It is just about possible to use the AvonRider to/from Bristol Airport. There's the Bakers Dolphin service 121 from Weston-super-Mare to Bristol.

Obviously the validity doesn't extend to Wiltshire, so another ticket would be required. There has to be a boundary somewhere and in this case it is the four local authorities that make up the old Avon area. Just getting them to work together along with the various operators is an achievement in itself. Particularly when one of those authorities is the petty fiefdom that is North Somerset!

Such tickets anywhere else in the country are rarely valid on dedicated airport services or night buses. I don't see anything wrong with the description of 'West' or the other small print. There's a similar ticket available in East & West Sussex, Surrey and Kent called the South Coast Explorer. Hampshire and Dorset are also on the south coast but they aren't included.
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