As of of this week, a £2 price cap for single bus journeys in Manchester has been introduced, while child fares have been reduced to just £1. Similar to London’s successful ‘hopper’ ticket, the new system means that Mancs will be able to use multiple bus services for their journey, and means they wouldn’t be charged extra for using a different service if a ticket has been purchased in the past 60 minutes.
From September 4, an adult single bus ticket within Greater Manchester will cost no more than £2, with a child ticket single set to cost no more than £1. All day travel in Greater Manchester across any bus operator will cost no more than £5 for an adult and £2.50 for a child. Currently there are more than 25 single adult fares that cost more than £2 and over 30 single child fares that cost more than £1.
Originally set to roll out by next Autumn, the new franchised service will half ticket prices for some journeys – with some areas currently paying over £4 per journey to get into Manchester city centre. All services would offer just one universal ticket type under TfGM. The ticket can then be used on any TfGM service, giving a more streamlined approach to travelling around Manchester. The plan is, however, reliant on the co-operation of Manchester’s current bus operators and the Government.
It will save bus passengers around 50% on some journeys and is the biggest change to Greater Manchester’s bus network since deregulation 36 years ago. With dozens of different ticket types available and costs varying by operator, it will provide certainty over the cost of travel for more than two thirds of people in the city-region concerned about the cost-of-living crisis.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The introduction of lower, simpler fares across our bus network signifies the biggest shake-up of our bus system in close to 40 years and comes at a critical time. Hundreds of thousands of households across Greater Manchester are deeply worried about money, with fears of even higher bills just around the corner.
“As the most used form of public transport, with around 2.5million trips every week across the city-region, introducing lower fares for bus passengers is the best way we can help the most people with the cost of travel right now. Coupled with the extension of Our Pass, which provides free travel for 16 – 18-year-olds, we are taking steps to make an immediate and tangible difference to people’s lives by putting money back into their pockets.
“While this is the right thing to do, we cannot at this point guarantee that this new fare structure will be permanent. It will be reviewed annually. But the more that people use the buses, the more likely it is that we will be able to sustain it.”
Given the considerable uncertainty over public transport funding going forward, the Mayor and Leaders have agreed to carry out an annual review of the new fare structure to ensure that it is financially sustainable. Full details of the new low Manchester bus fares are available here.