Tickets, fares, passes and concessions

Choosing the right ticket

If you aren't a regular user of public transport, not knowing what payment options are available can be a bit off-putting. However, there is no need to worry here are three simple options to allow you to complete your journey without difficulty.
Option 1 is to just pay for each journey as you make it - this is the simplest option, but if you are making more than one journey or need to change vehicle the following options may be cheaper.
Option 2 is ask the driver or ticket seller if a return ticket is available. Return tickets are often cheaper, but if you buy a return bus ticket please make sure that your return journey will be run by the same bus company, as this is not always the case, even on the same service route.
Option 3 is particularly suitable if you are using more than one bus service or combining bus, train or tram journeys. A range of all day tickets is available called Day Saver tickets (from System One) and offer big savings over options 1 & 2. You can buy Day Saver tickets from bus drivers, train station ticket offices and Metrolink ticket machines. Please note that Day Saver tickets are only valid on trains or trams after 9.30am Monday to Friday.
Smart ticketing is now available on Greater Manchester buses, giving you greater convenience and value over printed tickets. Customers can buy adult and junior 1-day, 7-day and 28-day travelcards, providing unlimited bus travel across the Greater Manchester area. To find out if smart ticketing suits you, visit

Where to buy your ticket

Buses - The bus driver can sell you a single journey ticket, (on many routes) a return ticket, or a Day Saver. Bus drivers only take cash, but are happy to give change when they are able. Some smart ticket travelcards will be available for purchase on bus.
Trains - Tickets are available from staffed stations or ticket machines, otherwise pay on the train. Single tickets, return tickets and day tickets are available. Cash only at the ticket machines, but staff will take cash, cheque and credit cards.
Trams (Metrolink) - Buy your ticket from the machine located on the platform. Single tickets, return tickets, daysaver tickets and season tickets are available. Ticket machines accept coins, notes and credit and debit cards.
The get me there mobile ticketing app for Metrolink is now available for Apple and Android. Visit the get me there website to find out more.
Check the full conditions of tickets before you travel

System One Travelcards

System One is a commercial venture provided by GMTL. System One travelcards are accepted by every bus operator in the Greater Manchester System One Travel Network. Some travelcards also allow travel on the train and tram networks. Get me there travelcards are now available for bus travel. To start searching for a System One travelcard that's right for you, visit the System One Travelcards website.

Single Operator tickets

Some bus operators have their own versions of these tickets which only allow travel on their own buses. If you only use the services provided by that operator these tickets may suit your needs, but be careful; if you buy a return ticket, make sure you can use it on the return bus; if you can't make your return journey on a bus run by the same bus company, you won't be able to use the return ticket and will have to pay another fare.
It is important to keep in mind that buses on the same service with the same service number may be run by different bus companies. A different bus company may run the buses in the evening or at weekends from the company running the daytime service. Check that the company which runs your service is not going to change during the period for which your travelcard is valid.
The introduction of smart ticketing on buses means you will be able to use get me there travelcards on more than one operator’s service. To find out if smart ticketing suits you, visit
Travel concessions
Passengers who have a permanent home address in Greater Manchester and who are entitled to concessionary fares can travel at reduced rates, and even for free in some cases.
Transport for Greater Manchester can help you get the right pass for your needs.
See how we can help you, use the links below: