Greater Manchester Bus, Train, and Tram Fare Updates 2018

A look at Greater Manchester’s fare changes

Almex M canceller (ClipperCard)

It’s that time again. Next to the obligatory Bond film, the 12 days of Christmas also covers another custom: fare increases. With (in England at least) the 02 January 2018 being the next ‘normal day’ after New Year’s Day, our bus, train and tram fares will be rising.

In Greater Manchester, Stagecoach Manchester and First Greater Manchester will be raising its single fares, season tickets and day rovers. For the first time since January 2014, fares will be rising on Metrolink trams, by an average of 5.93%. On average, train fares will be going up by 3.4%.

Among the proposed bus fare changes, First Greater Manchester’s FirstDay ticket will be closer to the £5.00 mark. There will also be no change to single fares on its journeys of the 346 route. On Stagecoach Manchester, dogs will have a day rover ticket to call their own.

Stagecoach Manchester: single fares structure whittled to just six categories

From the 02 January 2018, single fares will be £1.50, £2.00, £2.50, £3.00, £3.50 and £4.00. Though some passengers may see a rise in their fare, some may see a cut in their single fares. For children, the new single fares will be 70p, £1.00, £1.20, £1.50, £1.70 and £2.00. Adult DayRider tickets will be £4.50 (£2.20 for children) whilst Plus One and Group DayRiders will be priced at £6.00 and £9.00 respectively.

Manchester Megariders will be £15.00 for a weekly ticket if bought on the bus. The EasyRider, its half fare equivalent will be £7.50. Its mobile equivalent will be £14.50. Both Xtra 28 (Direct Debit only) and standard 28 day Megariders will be £58.00 for the online only tickets.

Other season tickets that will rise are the Middleton 7 Day, Service 38 7 Day, and Stepping Hill 7 Day tickets – up to £13.00, £12.00, and £7.00 respectively. The Middleton Day Saver will be £3.50.

If you fancy taking your dog on the bus, the £1.00 dog ticket has now become a Day Rover. Which is good news for dog walkers and owners of small dogs (who wonder why their Jack Russell Terrier pays the same fare as a Great Dane). The evening maximum single fare of £2.00 has become a permanent fixture.

Elisabeth Tasker, the Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester said: “We work hard to keep fares as low as possible for our customers however, due to a general rise in costs we have had to readdress our fare structure.

“Stagecoach Manchester is continuing to use the money from fares to reinvest in greener buses, smart ticketing and other improvements to services. Last year Stagecoach reinvested £9 million into its fleet and over the last 10 years over £122m has been invested.”

First Greater Manchester: 10% average rise in single fares, rover tickets and season tickets

Unless you only use First Greater Manchester’s journeys on the 346, passengers on their services will see a 10% average rise. As with last year’s changes, purchasers of mobile tickets will see a modest discount. The biggest rise entails the short hop fare on the 582 service: up 20% from a £1.00 to £1.20. Other fares on the said route will see a 20p rise with its other fares at £1.70, £2.20, and £2.70 (or a 10p rise for half fares). Both the Vantage and Moston local single fares will be £1.80 (or 90p for children).

All other single fares, up to £3.30 will see a 10p rise (5p for concessions). The £4.00 single will be £4.20 (or £2.10 children). FirstWeeks will be £16.00 (or £15.00 for the mTicket) with FirstMonths at £58.00 (or £54.00 for the mTicket). The annual season ticket will rise to £570.00.

If you fancy spending a day on FirstGroup’s Mancunian offerings, the FirstDay ticket will rise to £4.80. Or £4.50 via FirstGroup’s mTicket app (£2.40 or £2.25 concessions). The FirstNight ticket will be £4.40 – or £4.00 via the app.

Or, if you fancy going from Carrbrook to Ashton or Ashton to Mossley, the 348/350 Day Ticket will rise from £3.30 to £3.50 (£1.75). Or the Rochdale Road corridor, a day ticket will be £3.80 (£1.90) with its weekly equivalent priced at £12.00 (£6.00).

Some fares have escaped First Greater Manchester’s increases. Firstly, their mTicket singles packs, in fives and tens have been held (at £10 and £20). Single fares that have been held are the Johnson Fold £1.00 and £2.60 special fares; also the £1.50 single on Didsbury buses. The Wilmslow Road corridor will also see frozen fares on the South Manchester FirstDay (£3.40) and FirstWeek Zone A (£8.00) and B (£11.00) tickets.

All single fares on the 346 service, which they share with Stagecoach Manchester, have been held. If you travel between Little Hulton and Manchester, the Supersaver FirstWeek will be staying at £11.00. There will also be no change to the price of StudentMonth and Young Persons’ mTickets, priced at £10.00.

System One Travel/GetMeThere: modest increases for multimodal tickets and passes

Changes to rail and tram fares have been behind System One Travel’s fares update. There are no fare rises for its AnyBus only day saver tickets and Buscards (these usually take place in April). Fares for their multimodal tickets have risen at around 4%. All half fare concessions apply.

System One Travel products:

  • AnyBus and Train day saver: (Adult Off Peak) £7.30;
  • AnyBus and Tram day saver: (Adult Off Peak) £7.00;
  • AnyBus, Train and Tram day saver: (Adult Off Peak) £9.30;
  • Any Train and Tram: (Adult Off Peak) £8.60;
  • Adult County Card (Weekly): £38.00;
  • Adult County Card (Monthly): £118.00;
  • Adult County Card (Annual): £1,184.00.

GetMeThere products:

  • AnyBus and Tram day saver: £8.40 (£7.00 off-peak);
  • AnyBus and Tram weekly ticket: £36.60;
  • AnyBus and Tram 28 day ticket: £120.00.

Please note that off-peak refers to after 0930 hours on weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) and all day weekends. Within Greater Manchester, there is an additional evening peak on the trains between 1600 and 1830 on weekdays.

To avoid falling foul of the PM peak, either take the tram for part of your journey, make a cross-boundary rail journey, or purchase a GM Wayfarer ticket. They are £13.00 from TfGM Travelshops, staffed railway stations in Greater Manchester, or any shop with a PayPoint sign. If you have a County Card, there’s no need to worry about peak hour validity issues.

Train and tram fares


Regulated fares (season tickets and peak hour fares) will rise by an average of 3.4%. Unregulated fares, which include Advance Fares, rover tickets, and Off-Peak walk-on fares may rise above 3.4% or, in some cases though often unlikely, fall in price.

There are no changes to fares on the East Lancashire Railway, where an all-line rover is £14.80 from Heywood to Rawtenstall. Plus it includes entry into the Bury Transport Museum. The Dragon Miniature Railway at Wyevale Garden Centre, near Marple is £1.00 per person (10 trip tickets are available at £8.00).


Following a consultation, Metrolink fares will rise by an average of 5.93%. This is Metrolink’s first increase in four years. Tram fares have been held due to disruption and engineering works, following its recent expansion work.

Over 5,000 people participated in Transport for Greater Manchester’s consultation and 78% opted to spread the cost of its expansion over three years.

S.V., 31 December 2017.

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