I Wanna Ride The Bus!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Single-Operator Tickets

My trip in and out of Manchester to work is fairly short. The normal single trip price on a First Bus is £1.20, rising after Easter to £1.30. Daily FirstDay tickets are going up to £3.30, which will be more expensive than an off-peak DaySaver priced £3.20 and makes the bus and train off-peak Daysaver look like fantastic value at £4.

A weekly ticket on a First bus is rising to £12, just £1.50 below the equivilent all-bus Greater Manchester System 1 offering, and the FirstMonth ticket will cost £42 over the any bus £47

First blamed spiralling costs nationally for bus operators, and on a more local level, congestion and vandalism for the price hikes.

Why do I mention the price rises? I noticed, while waiting for a bus back into Shudewho (I had a meeting in the pub opposite,) a little notice on the bottom of the timetable, reminding passengers that while bus operators have their own tickets, there are alternatives available from System 1 Travel, including DaySavers.

You see, once you get your single-operator ticket, you're stuck with them. On my route, Arriva (formerly Blue Bus,) and JP Travel also serve where I want to go. If I see one of them turn up, then I can use the ticket I already have, even though I mainly use First buses.

They seem to be quieter too, which means a quicker ride into or out of town. I'll save overall, as I do use Stagecoach buses at least once a week on the other side of town too, which would, without an all-operator ticket would mean having to buy another ticket.

So I think that that notice on the bus stop is probably the best thing to come out of GMPTE for a very long time, impartial retailing - and while I'm critical of many things GMPTE do or fail to do, that is sound advice to all bus users, and despite the difficulties I've posted about getting the tickets, I hope people take their advice.

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