First South Yorkshire

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First South Yorkshire
First South Yorkshire.jpg
Service areaDoncaster
East Riding of Yorkshire
North East Derbyshire
Peak District
Service typeBus services
Fleet496 (May 2017)
WebsiteFirst South Yorkshire

First South Yorkshire[1] is the largest bus operator in South Yorkshire. It is a subsidiary of FirstGroup.


Alexander RH bodied Dennis Dominators in 2001
Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10M in March 2009
Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart in September 2008

In 1989 the Mainline brand was introduced by South Yorkshire Transport. Buses operated with Sheffield Mainline names in a bright red and yellow livery, replacing the previous "coffee and cream" livery. It was followed by Doncaster Mainline in a silver grey and red livery relieved by a light yellow band and finally Rotherham Mainline, whose buses were painted blue and yellow.

In 1992 the locality was dropped when Mainline became the standard fleetname across South Yorkshire. A common red and yellow livery with silver and blue bands was introduced.

In November 1993 South Yorkshire Transport sold Mainline in a management buyout.[2] Shortly after Stagecoach purchased a 20% stake in the company, however this was sold in 1995 to FirstBus.

In 1998 FirstGroup purchased the remaining 80% shareholding and renamed the business First Mainline. Buses were repainted in a simplified red and yellow livery, reminiscent of the original 1989 Sheffield Mainline livery. In 2000 First Mainline was rebranded as First South Yorkshire and the corporate light grey, blue and pink livery introduced.

In 2013, First South Yorkshire began to paint buses into First's new Olympia corporate livery, which is an updated version of the former livery. At the same time, the individual First Sheffield, First Rotherham, First Doncaster and First X78 brands were introduced. The First X78 brand was superseded by the Steel Link brand in 2015, while the First Rotherham brand was retired with the closure of the Rotherham depot in 2017.


First South Yorkshire operate services in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Due to bus services history and number changes, some routes share service numbers within South Yorkshire.

Route X78 is a service which goes from Sheffield Interchange via Meadowhall, Rotherham and arriving 90 minutes later at Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange. From Monday to Saturday it operates every fifteen minutes during the day and every twenty minutes on Sundays and week day evenings.

Route X4, Airport Services, departs from Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange and arrives approximately twenty-two minutes later at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

In September 2016, Steel Link route X1 commenced operating from Sheffield to Maltby via the Bus Rapid Transit North.[3][4][5]

First also run Peak District services; 272, from Sheffield, across the South Yorkshire boundary and into Derbyshire in the Peak District. Local or South Yorkshire FirstDay/Week/Month tickets are only valid up to the Sheffield boundary. Special day tickets must be purchased on board to travel on First South Yorkshire buses in Derbyshire.


As of May 2017, First South Yorkshire's fleet consists of 496 buses.[6]


First South Yorkshire vehicles operate from two depots. These are Olive Grove in Sheffield, and Leger Way in Doncaster. As of March 2017 Rotherham services mainly operate from Sheffield's Olive Grove depot with some operating from Doncaster's Leger Way depot (Mainly X78) having previously operated from Rotherham's Midland Road depot which has now closed.

Sheffield's Olive Grove depot is the second biggest bus depot in the UK after First Glasgow's Caledonia depot, which can hold 450 buses. As of May 2017, 318 buses are based at Olive Grove depot.[7]


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