First York and York City Knights partnership brings back fans in style by bus
Fans of York City Knights will now be able to travel in style to watch the rugby league club’s home games.
First York today (Thursday 20 May) unveiled a special all-electric double-decker bus fully branded in the team’s colours as part of a partnership with York City Knights to promote community activity and leisure in support of York’s recovery from the pandemic.
The bus will operate on the Service 9 route to Monk’s Cross Park & Ride and is set to take supporters to the Knights’ first home game this Sunday 23 May at the new LNER Community Stadium now that spectators are allowed at sporting events.
As with all buses in the First York fleet, the service will operate with Covid measures in place including seating arrangements and daily enhanced cleaning of all surfaces and touchpoints with anti-viral sanitiser to ensure everyone can travel safely.
York City Knights are expecting 1,000 fans when they play Oldham in the Betfred Championship.
Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said: “This partnership is about working together to connect local people and communities to the club they love and rediscovering leisure activities that will help York’s economic revival.
“Sporting events are one of the many areas of life that people are looking forward to enjoying again and we’re ready to take fans to the game this weekend.”
Jon Flatman, Chair of York City Knights, said: “This partnership further cements the club into the essential foundations of the cultural and leisure time available in this magnificent city. Transport to and from venues in a safe and reliable manner is vital to our fans and this service will deliver benefits to local residents and tourists.”
He added: “The importance of travel has been raised within fan focus groups and we have listened to provide this solution. The wider partnership with First York around fan engagement will improve our offer as a club to everyone concerned. The bus is a fantastic way to travel from the city centre to the ground on matchdays and you'll be sure to arrive in style.”
The name of First York appears on the players socks and the bus operator is the latest member of the club’s Business Hub, aimed at bringing local businesses together to share ideas for community outreach and events.
First York has a number of Knights fans among its employees. Driver Pete Richardson, who describes himself as “a massive fan”, was in disbelief when he saw the branded bus in the James Street depot and sent a message to Marc Bichtemann.
“I've just seen the new York City Knights bus in the annex and I'd just like to say as a massive Knights supporter it looks fantastic. I can’t wait to be able to drive it. I love that the company have got on-board and done this so from a fan and a member of First York thank you, I’m so proud,” he wrote.
The bus design includes a giant QR code which fans can scan and use on the go to get the latest details of club fixtures, local activities and offers with regular information updates on its website https://yorkcityknights.com/
First York is keen to build its partnerships and involve other social, cultural and sporting life of the city to support York’s recovery. It has a launched a dedicated page on its website to make contact and start discussions https://www.firstbus.co.uk/york/about-us/our-local-partners