The cost of Transport for Greater Manchester’s weekly scholar’s bus pass is to drop by almost 20 per cent at the end of this month, from £8.50 to £7.
Members of the TfGM Committee’s Bus Network and TfGM Services Sub Committee today agreed to make the change in response to First Manchester’s decision to cut the cost of its weekly child ticket in the same way.
TfGM is responsible for providing almost 400 essential, dedicated school bus services by paying operators to run them. On the majority of these services, the contract means TfGM sets the fares.
In April 2011, concessionary fares for schoolchildren changed from a flat fare to half the equivalent adult fare charged on commercial bus services in the area. This included weekly tickets and other period products.
At the time, First Manchester’s weekly child fare was set at £8.50 but this was reduced to £7 earlier this year, on a trial basis.
Following assurances that this is now a long-term change, TfGM has agreed to follow suit by changing the price of the weekly ticket it offers on its dedicated school services from Monday 29 October.
Councillor Mark Aldred, Chair of the Bus Network and TfGM Services Sub-Committee, said: “First have taken a step in the right direction here and I’m pleased that we’re in a position to follow suit.
“It is really important for bus passengers of all ages to get good value for their money, whatever their journey, wherever they live and whoever their operator may be, but especially at a time when family budgets are under great pressure – so I’m sure this move will be welcomed.
“First Manchester have been criticised for having some of the highest bus fares in Greater Manchester, and I trust that this move signals a change in approach which will ensure their services are more affordable, and therefore more attractive, to the communities they serve.”
TfGM’s weekly scholar’s pass can only be used on dedicated school services and is only available on services where TfGM contractually sets the fares. Details of which school services this applies to can be found on the TfGM website here.