Passengers thinking of returning to buses as Covid restrictions lift will be able to save money on fares following a new agreement with operators. Some fares will now be the lowest they have been in more than a decade.
Bus operators and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have agreed to reduce the n-bus multi-operator fares across the board – ranging from a 60p saving on a day ticket to £140 on the 52-week fare – from Monday 19 July.
The nbus day fare is now £4.20 the same price as it was in 2012. While the last time a one-week nbus ticket was as low as £15.80 was 2008.
Those working flexibly following the pandemic can benefit from multi-day offers – including £38 for ten days. Swift is the West Midlands version of London’s Oyster card and was used by customers to pay for more than 50 million journeys during 2019.
The nbus tickets are purchased using the region’s popular Swift travel card – available to buy from shops or online.
The agreement on n-bus brings fares across the region in line with those recently announced by the largest operator National Express West Midlands and means that those hopping between operators will share the same great value fares – starting from £4.20 for an adult nbus day ticket.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The region’s bus operators have worked hard with TfWM to improve services, convenience and better value for passengers through initiatives such as low fare zones, live timetable apps and half-price travel for 16-18 year olds.
“As a result pre-pandemic we were starting to see this work paying off with the numbers of paying passengers starting to rise. Now, as we look to encourage people to get back on the bus the operators have got together to cut fares.
“We now have the lowest fares in the country at the same time as we are investing millions in infrastructure and services – such as the Sprint rapid bus route, the redeveloped interchanges at Dudley and Perry Barr, the refurbished Pool Meadow Bus Station and the All-Electric Bus City in Coventry.”
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: “Bus is the most popular form of public transport in the region, relied upon by many.
“As the region opens up we want people to return to public transport, rather than take the car and add to traffic on our streets, therefore it is great to see that the operators are cutting prices to make it even more attractive and better value for passengers.
“For our part at TfWM we are investing in our bus infrastructure, such as developing new routes such as Sprint, currently under construction, and the planned cross-city bus route linking Birmingham and the Black Country with more reliable services.”
Transport operators have stepped up cleaning on buses, trains and trams, as well as at stations and facilities across the network to help keep passengers and staff safe. Passengers are also expected to continue wearing face coverings when using public transport.
The introduction of lower fares comes as the WMCA ramps up the Open for Business Safely campaign to support those businesses, especially those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, who have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
The campaign highlights safety measures taken by firms including bus companies keeping up their strict covid cleaning regimes to give people the confidence to use them safely.
For a full rundown on the fares and information on where to buy Swift visit as well as the latest Covid 19 travel advice visit the TfWM website.