Passengers have their say on new £2 bus fare
08 February 2023
“My normal single ticket is £3.70 and I am therefore making a saving every time I catch the bus. I am now taking the opportunity to try places I haven’t been to for a while and travelling by bus.”
Independent watchdog Transport Focus has looked into the impact the £2 new bus fare is having to help passengers with the cost of living.
Transport Focus spoke to more than 1000 people to understand awareness of the new bus fare capped at £2 and whether it has led to more journeys being made on buses (in England outside London).
Encouragingly, over half (53 per cent) said they were aware of the £2 fare. This was higher among regular bus users, with at least two thirds aware.
Seven per cent say they are already using the bus more because of the £2 fare, while almost a third (32 per cent) say they might use buses more but haven’t yet.
In Transport Focus’s latest Bus User Survey report, 73 per cent of bus passengers were satisfied with value for money, the highest since the survey began in September 2021.
David Sidebottom, director at the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
“Bus passengers tell us they want simpler, better value for money fares. Many are facing particular financial challenges at the moment. The £2 bus fare is a welcome step to help attract passengers back on board and or encourage non-users to give bus a go.
“While it’s still early days, these results are encouraging. We will continue to talk to bus passengers and use our insight to help Government and industry focus efforts on what matters most.”
What passengers say
Some passengers said they are travelling more due to the £2 fare:
“My usual return fare to the nearest town is £9.60, so to be able to do the same journey for £4 for a while is amazing. I have no car so am reliant on buses, so this is a great incentive to have and will give me more mobility and options, whilst saving money also.”
“It is so cheap and easy to get around by only paying £2. This will encourage me to use it more often.”
Some people said they might use bus more:
“It used to be extortionate to get from my house in the outer suburbs to the town centre and not value for money as only a 15 min ride but now I feel it is fair.”
“I’m aware of spending in the cost-of-living crisis, and capping the bus fare would make me less concerned about racking up larger bus fees.”
Some passengers said it would make no difference to their use of buses:
“From where I live a £4 return journey is still more expensive than using a car park in town.”
“Buses aren’t reliable so I go by car so I know I will get there on time.”
Transport Focus spoke to a representative sample of more than 1000 people between 20-22 January. The report focuses on the responses from fare payers (under age 65) within England outside of London.
From 1 January the government introduced a £2 capped single bus fare in England (outside of London). Participation in the scheme is voluntary and some bus companies chose not to take part, but most major bus operators offer it. A £2 capped fare was introduced in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire in autumn 2022.
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