What’s going up, what’s staying the same, and what’s going down?
This year’s bus fare changes could be fairly grim for some passengers, particularly those in North Manchester. The 02 January 2020 sees the expiration of the Diamond Bus North West/Go North West/First Greater Manchester ticket agreement. Instead of one FirstDay ticket for most of North Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Bolton, three single operator day saver tickets cover the area.
Thankfully, System One Travelcards’ multi-operator tickets can bridge the gap, though these are going up in price. Stagecoach Greater Manchester will be raising the price of their season tickets but single fares will be frozen.
First Greater Manchester
From 02 January 2020
On First Greater Manchester, the cheapest single fare will rise from £1.50 to a staggering £2.20 (a 32% increase). The £2.00 single fare will also be discontinued, meaning a 10% increase to £2.20. The £2.50 fare will rise to £3.00 (up 20%). Therefore, from the 02 January 2020, there will only be four single fares: £2.20, £3.00, £3.50 and £4.50 (or £1.10, £1.50, £1.75 and £2.25 for concessions).
In addition to their inflation-busting single fare hikes, there will be no discounts for mTicket holders on FirstDay, FirstNight, FirstWeek, FirstMonth and FirstAnnual tickets. They will be raised to the same price as their bought-on-the-bus equivalents. The Tameside 348/350 mTicket will also follow suit. On the 425/426, the £3.50 return fare will rise to £3.60.
What’s more, the mTicket only carnet style ticket packs will rise from £10.00 to £15.00 (pack of 5), and £20.00 to £30.00 (pack of 10). Another staggering rise: 50%.
Stagecoach Greater Manchester
From 05 January 2020
Unlike their contemporaries in Oldham, Stagecoach Greater Manchester have opted to freeze their single journey fares. Also frozen by Stagecoach is their Magic Bus day rider, their special dog fare (£1.00), the Magicrider and Stepping Hill seven-day tickets and the annual Megarider ticket.
Manchester Megariders will be £16.50 (£8.20 for children and concessions) for a seven-day ticket and £62.00 for their 28-day version. The Adult Megarider Xtra will also be £62.00. Dayrider tickets will be £5.00 (£2.50 for children and concessions) with Group Dayriders priced at £10.50 (two adults and up to three children). The Plus One Dayrider will be £6.80.
As with First, there will also be some changes to route specific and area specific tickets. The Middleton Dayrider will be £4.00 with its seven day ticket priced at £13.50. The Service 38 seven day ticket will also be £13.50. Wigan Dayriders will be £4.60 (£2.30 for concessions and children), whereas its seven day equivalent will be £15.00.
Go North West
From 01 January 2020
Like Stagecoach Greater Manchester, Go North West have chosen to freeze its single fares and all tickets along the Rochdale Road corridor. Its highest single fare, £4.40, will be reduced to £4.00. Unlike First Greater Manchester, discounts will still be available for smartphone users. The one-day Network day rover ticket, priced £5.20, is £4.80 via Go North West’s app. For seven days, it is £18.00 on the bus (£16.00 on the app).
In line with other operators in Greater Manchester, the monthly Network ticket will be a 28-day ticket, priced at £62.00 from your TfGM Travelshop (or £58.00 on the app). The evening day saver ticket will be cut to £4.00 on all Go North West buses after 6pm.
Whereas First Greater Manchester have made inflation-busting rises to their mTicket bundles, Go North West have held the price of their 10-trip pack at £20.00.
Diamond Bus North West
No changes announced other than the discontinuation of the First Greater Manchester/Go North West/Diamond Bus North West ticketing agreement.
Arriva North West
From 05 January 2020
There will be modest rises to their day rovers and season tickets. The Greater Manchester Day Saver ticket will rise from £4.60 to £4.70 (from £2.20 to £2.30 for concessions). Weekly Saver tickets will rise from £16.00 to £17.00 (from £7.80 to £8.50 for concessions).
The North West and Wales day rider will rise from £5.80 to £6.00 (or from £3.80 to £4.00 for concessions). If you are up for some hardcore bus hopping in North Wales, it is still good value for money compared with the train. The North West and Wales Family Day Saver is staying at £13.00 – for two adults and up to three children. Just the thing for a cheap trip to Rhyl or Llandudno from Chester.
The Four-Weekly Saver ticket will rise from £54.00 to £58.00 (£27.00 to £29.00 for concessions). The Annual Saver ticket will rise from £540.00 to £580.00 (up from £270.00 to £290.00 for concessions). Student fares will remain unchanged.
System One Travel and GetMeThere changes
From 05 January 2020
Some changes will be made to Greater Manchester Travelcards Limited’s System One travel cards and GetMeThere passes. The AnyBus day saver (on bus and GetMeThere versions) will rise from £5.80 to £6.00 (£3.00 for Junior versions). The AnyBus and Train day saver (bought on bus) will rise from £7.50 to £7.70.
There will also be another 20p rise for the AnyBus and Tram off-peak ticket: from £7.30 to £7.50. The all day version will be £9.00. For another 30p you could get the off-peak train and tram saver – up to £9.30 from £9.00. For all three modes across Greater Manchester (outside the peaks), another 30p rise (from £9.70 to £10.00). For another £4.40, you could also go to the Peak District on a £14.40 Wayfarer ticket from your nearest TfGM Travelshop, a staffed railway station, or at PayPoint outlet.
There will also be changes to season tickets. The seven-day AnyBus ticket will rise from £19.00 to £19.50 with its Junior equivalent rising from £9.50 to £9.70.
One more thing…
Train fares will also be going up on the 02 January 2020. Therefore, the System One Countycard will also be affected by these changes. Hence the reason why TfGM’s Wayfarer tickets will be going up from this date forward.
If you know of any further changes to single-operator or multi-operator tickets in Greater Manchester, feel free to add to this post.
S.V., 01 January 2020.