South Yorkshire bus pass blunder

Travel South Yorkshire's website reports issues with student passes

Travel South Yorkshire's website reports issues with student passes

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Thousands of Doncaster bus passengers, including students and pensioners, have been forced to pay higher fares after a computer glitch caused travel pass chaos.

Problems with Travel South Yorkshire’s online application process has meant student passes for 16 to 18-year-olds have not arrived on time, while others have not even been able to apply.

Doncaster Free Press has received complaints about buses failing to use the bus lane on some of Doncaster's busiest routes. Picture: Liz Mockler D1830LM

Doncaster Free Press has received complaints about buses failing to use the bus lane on some of Doncaster's busiest routes. Picture: Liz Mockler D1830LM

The problem with the MyTSY system has also caused issues with other passes and tickets, including the 11-16 MegaTravel pass and Senior Citizens pass.

It has meant youngsters have been forced to pay full fare to travel to school and college.

Passengers had been encouraged to use the system following the closure of information centres at interchanges across the region.

The centres at Doncaster, Meadowhall, Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield interchanges closed in May as the result of cuts by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to save £7.6 million.

But families today criticised the new system after many spent more than a week trying to apply for a pass in time for the new academic year.

Doncaster mum Jeanette Milner said the Travel South Yorkshire website was ‘useless’ after the computer glitch left her teenage daughter paying full fare. She said she spent two weeks trying to get her daughter a pass, only for the system to crash at the end of the application process.

She said: “My daughter has been charged £2.40 each way to school and back – despite showing her old pass and explaining that we have been trying to get the pass sorted.

“It is down to the MyTSY page being completely incapable of handling the amount of traffic it is getting that we have not got it sorted.

“Why close the local offices and swap it for a totally useless system?”

Another angry father, who did not wish to be named, said: “My daughter is starting sixth form this week. As a parent I don’t want to be forking out adult fares for 16-year-old.

“If you consider the cost implications, the bus companies are going to make an absolute fortune out of this.

“It took me 40 minutes to get through on the phone and the young woman who I spoke to said they have had to draft in extra staff.

“A normal fare will cost about £4 a day which is a lot, particularly for people that don’t have much money and will have to use their benefits.”

A SYPTE spokesman apologised to customers and said it has relaxed its policy, allowing youngsters to travel for 70p while the problem is fixed.

He said: “Intermittent technical problems with the MyTSY online pass application system has meant that it has been temporarily unavailable for some customers to use.

“In response to this, the policy of bus drivers and tram conductors requesting to view 11–16 Mega Passes and 16–18 Student Travel Passes will be relaxed to ensure that all students will be able to travel around South Yorkshire for the concessionary price of 70p.

“This will take a couple of days to implement whilst all operators inform their drivers or tram conductors of this change but it will be in place until September 30.

“Students are encouraged to continue to apply for their passes online via their MyTSY account however, if issues persist, passes can also be applied for via alternative methods such as post, email or phone.

“Full details of alternative application methods are available online at http://travelsouthyorkshire.com/interimstudentpasses.

“We apologise to all our customers for the inconvenience experienced during this busy period of applications.”

“Why close the local offices and swap it for a totally useless system?”

Another angry father, who did not wish to be named, said: “My daughter is starting sixth form this week. As a parent I don’t want to be forking out adult fares for a 16-year-old.

“If you consider the cost implications, the bus companies are going to make an absolute fortune out of this.

“It took me 40 minutes to get through on the phone and the young woman who I spoke to said they have had to draft in extra staff.

“A normal fare will cost about £4 a day which is a lot, particularly for people that don’t have much money and will have to use their benefits.”

A SYPTE spokesman apologised to customers and said it has relaxed its policy, allowing youngsters to travel for 70p while the problem is fixed.

He said: “Intermittent technical problems with the MyTSY online pass application system has meant that it has been temporarily unavailable for some customers to use.

“In response to this, the policy of bus drivers and tram conductors requesting to view 11–16 Mega Passes and 16–18 Student Travel Passes will be relaxed to ensure that all students will be able to travel around South Yorkshire for the concessionary price of 70p.

“This will take a couple of days to implement whilst all operators inform their drivers or tram conductors of this change but it will be in place until September 30.

“Students are encouraged to continue to apply for their passes online via their MyTSY account however, if issues persist, passes can also be applied for via alternative methods such as post, email or phone.

“Full details of alternative application methods are available online at http://travelsouthyorkshire.com/interimstudentpasses.

“We apologise to all our customers for the inconvenience experienced during this busy period of applications.”