SHMD Daimler CVG6 front loading

Important Changes to Senior Citizens’ Passes on 01 February

£10.00 per annum charge for unlimited off-peak tram and train travel in Greater Manchester

If you are a passenger of pensionable age in Greater Manchester, there’s every chance you will be using your concessionary pass to access the City Region’s buses, trains and trams. In the weekends, you may be able to take a train, tram or bus before 9.30 am and travel by bus anywhere in England. This month, train and tram concessions are covered by your existing pass.

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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 Goes Contactless

New Ticketer machines ushers in start of contactless travel on First Greater Manchester routes

In line with other FirstGroup subsidiaries across the UK, contactless payments will be available on First Greater Manchester bus routes. From the first weekend in September, all First buses will be able to accept contactless credit and debit cards as a payment option.

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2017, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

First Greater Manchester Mercedes Citaro, W366 RJA, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
One of the biggest bus related events in Greater Manchester was the closure of First Greater Manchester’s Bury and Dukinfield depots. With Tameside’s routes served by Oldham depot, Mercedes Citaros have returned to the scene.

If 2016 was eventful, 2017 was even more eventful to the power of five. Testing our city region’s bus operators, rail franchisees, and the Metrolink was the terror attack at Manchester Arena. Greater Manchester also gained a newly elected mayor, and powers to reregulate its own buses. Also a new stretch of railway line.
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2016, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

Taking ad-Vantage of the sunshine in Leigh, Lancashire.
The biggest bus related event of 2016 was the arrival of Leigh Guided Busway, as illustrated by the V1 service seen at Leigh bus station.

If 2016’s transport scene was to be represented by two pieces of popular music, we opened with The Beatles’ Fixing A Hole and finished with Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out. The former, indicative of the A57(M)’s cavity; the latter, First Greater Manchester’s closure of its Bury and Dukinfield garages.
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One Hour Hopper Fares: How Greater Manchester Could Benefit

How East of the M60 thinks a Transport for London style One Hour Hopper could work in the Greater Manchester City Region

Dennis Hopper fotografiert von Hartmut S. Bühler vor der Kunsthalle Düsseldorf im Jahr 1988
Could a One Hour Hopper ticket make for an easy ride, one smoother than this gentleman’s in the 1969 movie?
Travelling in and around Greater Manchester by bus can be a patchy experience, with new buses on trunk routes, and pensionable buses away from key routes. As well as commercially-funded projects and the Vantage services along the Leigh Guided Busway, there is little sense of continuity. Apart from multi-operator tickets, the network is fragmented with, for example, First Greater Manchester having a fiefdom in Oldham. Likewise with Stagecoach Manchester dominating South Manchester and Stockport. Continue reading “One Hour Hopper Fares: How Greater Manchester Could Benefit”

2015, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

Enviro200 MCT Travel MX62 GYC, Oldham Bus Station
2015 was a good year for third sector operators, particularly MCT Travel who picked up a number of TfGM contracts from the likes of FirstGroup and Stagecoach. Seen here is MX62 GYC, an Enviro200 seen on the 410 Oldham Circular, a tender gain from First Greater Manchester.

Only one word could sum up the state of Greater Manchester’s transport system over 2015: “holes”. For the second part of 2015, the sinkhole which has emerged on Mancunian Way, set to filled by Spring of 2016. For the first half, holes in service provision thanks to local government spending cuts. Continue reading “2015, In the Company of Buses”

Serco Loses Northern Franchise to Arriva

FirstGroup and Keolis retain Transpennine Express franchise

  • Pacers peddled with new rolling stock in place;
  • Evolution of Smart Ticketing and free WiFi at stations;
  • New connections throughout Northern England.

The Department for Transport today [09 December] has awarded the Northern franchise to Arriva/DB Regio today. As part of their franchise, the unpopular Class 142 and 144 Pacer units will be scrapped. In their place would be a mix of brand new and nearly new rolling stock. Their franchise term will be active from April 2016 to March 2025. Continue reading “Serco Loses Northern Franchise to Arriva”

2014, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

Stagecoach Manchester Plaxton Primo YX60 DWU, Rochdale Interchange
Last vestiges of the old order: a former JPT Travel Plaxton Primo seen in its previous owner’s livery, with only the “Stagecoach” lettering an obvious sign of the new order..

How would historians look at Greater Manchester’s transport system in 2014? The answer, could well have been from the front seat of a train. Or a train outside the evening peak. Or, it could have entailed a journey on one of Manchester’s cross-city routes.
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In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good

How reduced rate travel connects people with places, and does so very well

First Greater Manchester YJ51 RAU, Ashton Bus Station
YJ51 RAU a Volvo B7TL seen on the 389 service at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station to Hyde via Ridge Hill and Yew Tree estates.

 

This week saw mixed messages for passengers on the national concessionary travel scheme. To start with, a 36 year old disabled man won £5,500 damages after it was stated his local bus operator breached the 2010 Equality Act. He was denied access to a Leeds bound bus as a woman with a pushchair refused to budge. Continue reading “In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good”