A man who has been pivotal in the transformation of York’s public transport is stepping down.
Marc Bichtemann, managing director of First York, is leaving the business and returning home to Germany due to family reasons.
In a letter to stakeholders, he says: “This has not been an easy decision particularly given how much I have enjoyed my time with First Bus and working with our partners in York.
“During the last five years I have been proud to lead the team; overseeing the renewal of the prestigious York Park & Ride contract, strengthening and enhancing our partner relationships, and leading on the introduction of a significant proportion of Electric Vehicles to the fleet.”
He will stay at First York until mid-July.
A spokesperson for First Bus York said: “Marc is leaving the business for family reasons and returning to be closer to his relatives in Germany.
“This has not been an easy decision for him and his family to make and we give them our very best wishes for the future.”
Searching for a successor
In his last months as MD, Mr Bichtemann will guide “the business through its growth plans for this year and recovery as we emerge from the pandemic,” the spokesperson said.
“We are actively seeking his successor and will make an announcement as soon as this has been completed.
“The day-to-day running of First York continues as normal and Marc being at the helm while we find his replacement will help ensure this process is managed confidently and without disruption.”
His successor will have a lot in their in-tray.
By law, City of York Council has to have created a Bus Service Improvement Plan by October.
This will require the city to either engage in an ‘enhanced partnership’ with bus operators – which First York favours – or move to a franchise model.