First South Yorkshire has taken the initial step towards turning around its business with the introduction of the Clever Buses brand in Doncaster.

Eight Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B7RLEs have received the identity for route 66, which runs between Bentley and Intake via the town centre. They also have ‘tap and cap’ contactless fare payment technology. A single trip is charged at £2, with a daily cap of £4.70 and a weekly cap of £16.50.

Nigel Eggleton (pictured) took over responsibility for the First South Yorkshire operation in June as Managing Director, complementing his established leadership of the First Midlands business. That created the First South Yorkshire and Midlands unit.

At that time, Mr Eggleton pledged to extend successful commercial initiatives from Leicester, North Staffordshire and Worcester to South Yorkshire. It is understood that work is well in hand to create area-specific liveries for the South Yorkshire operation.

The roll-out of Clever Buses in Doncaster is the first part of First’s “promise to improve the look, the feel and most importantly the delivery of reliable bus services in the area,” the operator says.

Many further changes will follow out across Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield under the new regime, it adds.

“The association with ‘clever’ is related to the latest technology that has recently been piloted on buses in Doncaster. It provides easy access for payment by contactless card or phone by tapping, with a cap on how much anyone will pay for travel,” says Mr Eggleton.

“As we start to ease out of lockdown, we want to make bus travel as easy as possible for our customers.”