Bristol K5G, North Western Road Car Company

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #14: Lowbridge Buses

The even longer awaited fourteenth part of our informal look at bus operations For beginners.

Once upon a time, quite some time ago, a certain Robert Stephenson created the world’s first true inter-city railway line. By September 1830, it carried its first passengers and goods between Liverpool and Manchester city centres. Today, Liverpool Lime Street is the world’s oldest railway terminus in continuous use. Liverpool Road station, in Manchester, is part of the Science Museum Group as Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum.

On reading the previous paragraph, you may be asking yourself, “What has this got to be do with buses?” Quite a bit, because not all railway bridges are sixteen feet or higher above our roads, bridleways, canals, footpaths and rivers. Our earlier road bridges were designed for horses and carts, never mind state-of-the-art electric cars. Or double decker buses.

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Gimme (Flexi) 5! Stagecoach Greater Manchester Introduces Flexible Season Ticket

New flexible season ticket offers five days unlimited travel on Stagecoach Greater Manchester buses for the price of four days travel

Over the lockdown period, working from home has become the norm for white collar workers. Some of which have previously paid for seven-day, 14-day, monthly and annual season tickets for local buses, trams and trains. For some people, spending two days in the office and three days working from home has taken over from doing five daily commutes. Owing to this trend, the days of ‘traditional’ season tickets are numbered.

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Enviro400, First Greater Manchester, Oldham bus station

Greater Manchester Bus Fare Changes, January 2020

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.

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Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200 MX11 HHC, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

The Shape of Bus Fares Before and During Franchised Bus Operations

The state of Greater Manchester’s bus fares before and during franchised bus operations

Greater Manchester has over thirty different bus operators. At present, this means over thirty different fare tables. Over sixty should you count half fares within the City Region. Once you get into cross-boundary operations, there are two or more sets of concessionary fares to deal with. The 358 route has three sets of concessionary fares: Cheshire East and Derbyshire rates as well as TfGM’s fares.

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First Greater Manchester Ancient Volvo, Oldham, 2018

North Manchester Bus Fare Changes: Why Three is a Tragic Number

First/Diamond/Go North West ticketing agreement ends in New Year

For Greater Mancunian bus, train, and tram passengers, there is nothing peculiar about the 02 January 2020. As it is the first working day of 2020, it is at that point of the year when our bus, train and tram fares go up.

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Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #13: Bus Fares

The long awaited thirteenth part of our informal look at bus operations. For beginners.

Optare Solo First Greater Manchester MX54 GZF, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
A First Greater Manchester bus, loading at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station in July 2017.

In a previous Duffers’ Guide (Part Six), we looked at how concessionary fares work on bus routes. At this moment in time, fare increases have dominated the news agenda after Brexit, Trump and, in Greater Manchester at least, Andy Burnham’s death knell to bus deregulation. In his speech he has cited the cost and complexity of bus fares.

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Summer Bussing, Ever So Far: Summertime Fare Offers in Greater Manchester

Good clean bus fun for all the family, ages 5 and up

First Greater Manchester, Volvo B9TL, Wright Gemini Eclipse, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
From Carrbrook to Carrington, or Radcliffe to Ringway… the bus can be a great way of exploring Greater Manchester. Seen in this October 2012 shot is one of First Greater Manchester’s Volvo B9TLs on the 348 service to Carrbrook. Today, this service uses ‘A’ stand at Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station and is more likely to have Wright StreetLite single deckers on its route.

The summer holidays are in full swing. Yes, four to six weeks of “Mum, I’m bored”, or trying to find suitable childcare options. Or trying to budget for six weeks of lunches without breaking the bank. On some occasions you may wish to leave the house. A bus trip could be a good excuse for visiting Greater Manchester’s finest attractions, or somewhere further afield. Or for notching up your Pokémon Go score. Continue reading “Summer Bussing, Ever So Far: Summertime Fare Offers in Greater Manchester”

The Manchester Megarider’s Digital Switchover

Stagecoach Manchester’s popular season ticket switches to smart card only format

DAF SB120 Stagecoach Manchester LL07 BLU, Oldham Bus Station

The sticky-backed plastic card is dead! Long live sticky-backed plastic and card! From tomorrow morning, Stagecoach Manchester’s popular season tickets will only be available in smart card form. Continue reading “The Manchester Megarider’s Digital Switchover”

Stagecoach Manchester’s February Fare Offer

Half price Day Riders for passengers aged 16 to 19

Enviro400 Stagecoach Manchester, MX08 GNU, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
For passengers aged 16 – 19 years of age, Stagecoach’s half price Dayrider will offer substantial savings on a short return trip from Dukinfield to Ashton! The present fare is £2.30 – a saving of £2.60 on both legs. A trip from Dukinfield to The Trafford Centre on Stagecoach Manchester buses alone (330 or 346; 216/219/231; and X50 or 250) would see the single fare on each bus akin to prices last seen in the Greater Manchester Transport era – back when the 16 to 19 Pass was advertised on Piccadilly Radio!

30 years after Greater Manchester Transport rebranded the Teen Travel Club weekly tickets as the 16 – 19 Bus Pass, comes a special offer from Stagecoach Manchester. Thousands of young people across Greater Manchester are set to benefit from a new offer by Stagecoach Manchester which will help cut the cost of travel. Continue reading “Stagecoach Manchester’s February Fare Offer”