13 August 2010

Travel Club

A new initiative designed to cut the annual travel costs of city centre workers while simultaneously encouraging them to use public transport to get to and from work is being launched in Plymouth this week (10 August) in a move that is expected to be universally welcomed by business leaders and their employees.
The Plymouth City Centre Travel Club will officially be launched on Tuesday 10 August. The result of a joint partnership between First Devon and Cornwall and the Plymouth City Centre Company, the travel club offers its members the chance to cut their employees annual travel costs by up to £332 each if they currently travel by bus*.
Any company - regardless of size - can join the Plymouth City Centre Travel Club, provided they are based in Plymouth City Centre. Staff can start reaping the rewards as soon as their employers have signed up. There is no cost to join.
For someone who buys weekly or monthly bus tickets to commute to and from work, the potential savings from the new scheme are immense. Members of the Plymouth City Travel Club will be able to get FirstYear Plymouth tickets (offering unlimited travel within the city limits, and travel on the citys Park and Ride buses) for just £396 each. This offers a saving of £332 a year for someone who currently buys FirstWeek tickets to commute to work, £228 each for those who currently buy FirstMonth tickets, or £124 for those who already buy annual bus tickets. Those buying the discounted tickets can pay for them over 12 months by credit card or direct debit.
Discounted tickets offering travel across the wider PlymouthPlus zone (which extends to Yelverton, Ivybridge, Wembury and the Rame Peninsula) and tickets offering unlimited travel across the whole of Devon and Cornwall are also available through the scheme.
For more information about the Plymouth City Travel Club, or to find out how your company can join email Peter Burridge, Commercial Business Manager, First Devon and Cornwall, at peter.burridge@firstgroup.com or log onto www.firstgroup.com/devon for more information.
Travel Club Benefits
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This certainly looks like a good idea which might be of use to some people who work in the City Centre. It is always good to see business and bus companies working together like this. It is a shame though that it only seems to be available with First. It would be a lot more popular if it could work with both bus companies like the existing Plymouth City Council scheme which we benefit from in the hospital. That said this scheme does seem to be cheaper. Lets hope it does work and it gets taken up by good numbers of people working in the City Centre.
Of course it does also beg the question - if your route gets withdrawn would you then get a refund on the ticket? It would be nice to see some sort of guarantee given at the time of purchase that refunds (pro rata) for tickets would be given if your route is withdrawn or substantially altered to make it unsuitable as a travel option. This is not a dig at First - all our bus companies are cutting back at the moment. this sort of guarantee should be given on all extended bus tickets.

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