Happy New Year (Fares Are Rising)

The annual rail fare revisions (read: increases) come into effect today, Tuesday 2nd January 2011, and naturally they’ve had a high profile in the national media. The Association of Train Operating Companies claims the average fare rise will be 5.9%, which tallies with the 5.26% rise to my own monthly County Card (was £95, now £100). It could have been worse, as the proposed RPI+3 rise (aka 8%) was scaled back to RPI+1 in a recent government U-turn, but this is small comfort when wages are failing to keep pace. There are similar fare rises on other modes too.

Over on the trams, TfGM has introduced a similar RPI+1 (6%) rise, although the MEN reports a rise of 9.37% on adult return fares to Media City, from £3.20 to £3.50. It’s not too surprising that MediaCity fares are rising so much, as historically fares on the Eccles line have been cheaper than similar fares on the other lines: indeed, a Day Saver ticket used to cost less if you bought it from an Eccles line station than any other stop on the system! Is this still the case? Not sure, as the ticket section on the Metrolink website will only show you the fares from one stop to another. Seemingly no such thing as a day ticket, and no such thing as an any-tram season ticket. One good change however is the introduction of cheaper “next-stop” tickets.

Meanwhile on the buses, First Manchester have also announced fare rises coming into effect today. With Bus Service Operators Grant (aka the former rebate towards duty on fuel) being reduced by 20% from April this year, it’s unsurprising that bus operators will be looking to recoup the money through increased fares. FirstDay tickets rise 7.1% from £4.20 to £4.50, FirstWeek tickets rise 5.9% from £17 to £18, whilst monthly and annual tickets are up 5.5% to £58 and £580 respectively. A small number of single tickets have been reduced in price, as well as some child season tickets, but the £2.20 adult single fare is increased by 13.6% to £2.50! We suspect most people will buy day tickets and weekly seasons which increase by a lesser amount (whilst senior citizens travel for free) so the biggest impact will be to occasional travellers – but we fear that these kind of price increases do little to convert them into regulars.

We don’t want to single out First for special treatment, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for other fare increases from other bus operators as we approach 1st April 2012.

Despite the gloom over fares, Manchester Transport blog wishes our readers all the best for 2012!

[Image credit: “Manchester Flickr Christmas Meet 2009 – Tram Tracks” by purplemattfish on Flickr]

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About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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8 Responses to Happy New Year (Fares Are Rising)

  1. Rob says:

    Happy New Year!

    Think Arriva are also ‘revising’ their prices – I’m sure I saw a notice on one of their buses last week, but can find nothing on their website.

    • James McCollom says:

      I’ll keep my eyes open – Arriva’s “North West” website is a bit hit-and-miss, plus there is a tendancy to display old posters on their vehicles.

  2. Shaun says:

    Happy New Year

    It will be interesting to see if other operators due raise their fares during 2012, ditto System One. At the moment, the System One tickets are looking more attractive to passengers in the north of Manchester now that First have put their prices up, particularly the weekly ticket. First is £18, while System One is £19, meaning that anyone can travel on any bus in Greater Manchester for £1 more than just on First Bus. An advantage of the First tickets compared to System One is the option to travel to Warrington or Huddersfield.

  3. Shaun says:

    JPT have said on their Facebook page that they’ve put prices up slightly on single fares, but multi-journey tickets are unchanged. I imagine they’ll want to keep their day/weekly tickets down in price (£2.80 day, £12 weekly) with the impending increased competition on the 17 route, as they introduce a daytime service to/from Rochdale and a second depot somewhere in north Manchester (somewhere in the Middleton area probably)

  4. Andrew Macfarlane says:

    The Metrolink off-peak Day Saver ticket now costs £4.50 from every station.

  5. Shaun says:

    New from Arriva’s website about fare increases from this Sunday (8 January). The North West day ticket goes up to £4.60, weekly costs £18 and 4-weekly (available online, via mobile or at PayPoint locations) costs £63. Child prices are half the adult (Weekly and 4-weekly can also be used in Wales too). North West & Wales day ticket will be £6.50, while the child ticket goes up to £3.50.

    No change to Manchester or Bolton/Wigan tickets and no mention to changes to single fares.

  6. Pingback: More hybrid buses enter service – with more to come | Manchester Transport blog

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