Lower bus fares a First step in the right direction
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Posted: 19 November 2012 | Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) | No comments yet
Transport leaders in Greater Manchester have welcomed bus operator First’s move to reduce fares by up to 25%…
Transport leaders in Greater Manchester have welcomed bus operator First’s move to reduce fares by up to 25% across large parts of its network.
A meeting of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee heard that ongoing pressure from TfGM has led to new adult weekly and daily tickets being trialled on First services within the M60 boundary.
The M60 range of tickets will benefit thousands of passengers travelling in Manchester, and parts of Bury, Salford and Tameside, who can save as much as £5 a week.
Bus users travelling within the Oldham district boundary – and on the Oldham corridor into Manchester city centre and new cross-city 18 service – are now able to buy two new cheaper daily and weekly tickets.
First has made a commitment to reviewing the Oldham fares initiative with TfGM officers in the new year. TfGM wants to see similar tickets introduced in other areas, such as Bolton, Rochdale and Wigan, and the remaining areas of Bury, Salford and Tameside.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “For far too long there has been a major difference in bus fares between the region’s two biggest operators. Simply put, if you live in the north of Manchester, you could be paying nearly a third more for a weekly bus pass than someone who lives in the south.
“This is clearly unfair and results in much lower bus use in north Manchester. We need to get rid of this inequality permanently – in the long run this fares initiative needs to lead to lower fares across all First’s services.
“We are developing a smartcard style ticketing scheme for Metrolink, and it is essential that we have more consistent fares on bus services across Greater Manchester if we are going to be able to roll this out to include buses in the future.”
First introduced a number of fares promotions over the summer to attract passengers on to specific services. It has permanently reduced the price of its weekly child ticket, after trialling it at £7 earlier this year.
Councillor Mark Aldred, Chair of the Bus Network & TfGM Services Sub Committee said: “We are seeing a steady move in the right direction from First.
“They’ve recently invested in new buses and are now gradually reducing fares, all of which is good news. I hope it will go hand in hand with improved service performance, as people will only be attracted to use their services more if they are also frequent and reliable.”
First’s range of new tickets, introduced on Sunday 18 November, include:
- ‘FirstDayM60’ AND ‘FirstDayOldham’ costing £3.90 (compared to a regular FirstDay ticket at £4.50)
- ‘FirstWeekM60’ AND ‘FirstWeekOldham’ costing £13 (compared to a regular FirstWeek ticket at £18)
All of the new fares will allow travel on First’s recently extended cross-city service 18, which links north Manchester with hospitals, universities and businesses on the city centre Oxford Road corridor.
More information is available at www.firstgroup.com/manchester.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)
Andrew Fender, Mark Aldred