Bus Fares?

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starrymarkb

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Why is it so difficult to find out bus fares in advance of travel. Is there any reason why they are not publicised in journey planners? I know you can phone the bus company but often they have limited opening hours
 
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WestCoast

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No idea really, most bus companies don't publish single fares in booklets or on the website. Maybe it's not to put people off.. :lol:

For one-off users, they'll usually show the day ticket price (which astonishingly is actually cheaper than some of the single fares on a Stagecoach route I use!).

Some of the city operators do tend to show all fares that they offer, examples being the likes of Brighton & Hove, NXWM, Lothian and near me Preston Bus. Although, those operators tend to offer a more limited range of single tickets, so that's feasible.

I did once, however, stumble upon one Stagecoach operating division that has put faretables on the website in the tickets section. Perhaps an example to follow?
 

radamfi

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There are a couple of companies that don't have flat fares that have fare tables for all their routes:

Metrobus
http://www.metrobus.co.uk/travel-info/

Oxford Bus Company
http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/main.php?page_id=21

Most operators can't be bothered to show their fares partly because they follow the complicated traditional stage carriage fare system, and also because fares can change at any time with no notice.

Needless to say, things are better in the more advanced countries of Europe. Normally there is a zonal system where you are allowed to change buses/trams or trains as often as you want in a certain amount of time and you simply pay for the number of zones crossed. The Netherlands have recently switched to a pay per km system. The website www.9292ov.nl will give you the fare for any journey in the country.
 

bb21

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Wellglade-owned trentbarton and Kinch both allow you to query fares on their website. NCT used to publish faretables too on the website but ceased doing so a number of years back. Now there is no need as they have a flat-fare structure.

The practice dates back decades. Historically it was very difficult to obtain fares information mostly from municipals. I have read an article regarding this issue a number of years back. I'll see if I can dig it out.
 

aformeruser

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Many a true word spoken in jest. 20 years ago my family took the bus because we couldn't afford a taxi, nowadays we take a taxi because we can't afford the bus fares.

No joke.

Taxis are indeed sometimes cheaper provided you can get multiple people in the taxi.

When I was at uni around 8 years ago the First Bus fare in to town was £1.10. One taxi company offered £2.50 if booked in advance (or £5 for a vehicle licenced to carry 8) and if using a hackney cab it was £4.
 

bb21

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Taxis are indeed sometimes cheaper provided you can get multiple people in the taxi.

When I was at uni around 8 years ago the First Bus fare in to town was £1.10. One taxi company offered £2.50 if booked in advance (or £5 for a vehicle licenced to carry 8) and if using a hackney cab it was £4.

This is the case with trains sometimes as well. If you can get 3/4 people to share a taxi, along some routes, especially in areas without fares subsidy from the local government or GroupSave, a taxi could be considerably cheaper in total.
 

heart-of-wessex

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If I want to go by bus around here for a day, I just get a First Day South West or a Wiltshire Day Rover, depending where I am going. They are both round the £7 mark, and even if I want to just go to Bath, the FDSW is around the same as a return anyway, so it's effectively free travel after. Going to Weston-super-Mare is an epic free ride because of that!
 

radamfi

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It is certainly the case that it if you travel on at least 2 buses with the same bus company in a day it is often best to get a day ticket as single fares have risen to outrageous levels, whereas day tickets have gone up by less.
 

Badger

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I swear I'm charged a different amount every time I travel on an Arriva bus here (always the same stops). National Express West Midlands, however, are a fixed £1.90 single, £3.80 day, fare. (You can pay £1.70 for a short hop, but I believe those are being phased out and replaced with £1.00 if you stay within the city boundaries).
 

MCW

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funny we should mention fares, I caught the bus to work the other morning as I was running behind like a rat's a**e again and gets on my fav bus! (which is 4617 of arriva Leicester) and driver said £1.40, I didn't hesitate, in fact i slammed my money down faster! normally costs me £1.70 and sometimes £1.80....

weird.
 

bb21

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funny we should mention fares, I caught the bus to work the other morning as I was running behind like a rat's a**e again and gets on my fav bus! (which is 4617 of arriva Leicester) and driver said £1.40, I didn't hesitate, in fact i slammed my money down faster! normally costs me £1.70 and sometimes £1.80....

weird.

Haha. Where did you go? I might be able to tell you whether you were undercharged that time or overcharged normally. Hang on, 4617 is a Wigston bus so I have a general incline. ;)

£1.80 is a Citybus fare. Arriva only has £1.70.
 

Deerfold

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TFL buses show their fares on the website :)

Though it's nice and easy as there's only 1 fare per method of paying.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Wellglade-owned trentbarton and Kinch both allow you to query fares on their website. NCT used to publish faretables too on the website but ceased doing so a number of years back. Now there is no need as they have a flat-fare structure.

The practice dates back decades. Historically it was very difficult to obtain fares information mostly from municipals. I have read an article regarding this issue a number of years back. I'll see if I can dig it out.

It used to be a lot easier with a lot of muinicipals - many would produce a booklet with all the timetables and fare tables in (but I'm going back a long way here). Back then though there would only generally be significant change to services and/or fares once or twice a year.

I was quite surprised to see full fares tables for Harrogate Coach Travel at:

http://www.harrogatecoachtravel.com/routes-and-fares.htm

(Though I've never actually paid a fare on one of their buses as I've always been on a Dayrover or Metrocard.)
 

radamfi

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It used to be a lot easier with a lot of muinicipals - many would produce a booklet with all the timetables and fare tables in (but I'm going back a long way here). Back then though there would only generally be significant change to services and/or fares once or twice a year.

Are you going back to at least 1986?

Even back then, there was still the anomaly where you pay a fare on each bus you get on rather than pay a fare for the whole trip on your first bus. That means if you change buses it usually costs more than if one bus went the whole way. Trains, on the other hand, allow through ticketing. This is partly mitigated these days by day tickets.
 

flymo

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Are you going back to at least 1986?

Even back then, there was still the anomaly where you pay a fare on each bus you get on rather than pay a fare for the whole trip on your first bus.

As a slight aside, in Tyne and Wear around then there was a ticketing system that did exactly that, you pay for the whole journey on the first mode of transport. TRANSFARES.

These tickets would cover the whole journey wholly within Tyne and Wear and were valid for example on bus-bus-bus or bus-Metro-bus or Metro-bus-ferry etc...
Brilliant system which was all but dissolved at deregulation or soon thereafter, Shame really as it really did work well.
 

Deerfold

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Are you going back to at least 1986?

Even back then, there was still the anomaly where you pay a fare on each bus you get on rather than pay a fare for the whole trip on your first bus. That means if you change buses it usually costs more than if one bus went the whole way. Trains, on the other hand, allow through ticketing. This is partly mitigated these days by day tickets.

Oh yes, I'm thinking 60s/70s.

This system never does seem to have been widespread here, though popular in many European countries and US/Canadian cities.

Of course there are some improvements since those days. I've a 1968 timetable - if you wanted to go from Halifax to Bradford by bus you had to get a Halifax Corporation bus to the municipal boundary and then change to a Bradford Corporation bus (paying on each).

Whilst you could get a through train there were fewer than 1 an hour of these during the day, with buses every 10 minutes.
 

SS4

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I swear I'm charged a different amount every time I travel on an Arriva bus here (always the same stops). National Express West Midlands, however, are a fixed £1.90 single, £3.80 day, fare. (You can pay £1.70 for a short hop, but I believe those are being phased out and replaced with £1.00 if you stay within the city boundaries).

Shame they're not bringing back the evening saver though :( ( I know you can get the 5 for £5 in the evenings but that's not the same). I can't imagine NXWM would lose much custom if they just had a single (£1.90) and the Daysaver (£3.80) although a return priced about £2.60 might be interesting.

I find it much easier to pay £4 for an nbus though, especially if I know that I may be using another operator and it saves me digging out for change ;)


Back on topic I've not really had a problem with NXWM or NWM (Network West Midlands, the customer service 'brand' of centro) even if the latter is long winded and the former, whilst not telling you about a single does tell you about the Bus/Metro ticket (although if you travel after half 9 pay the 10p and get a Daytripper :lol:)
 

Badger

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Shame they're not bringing back the evening saver though ( I know you can get the 5 for £5 in the evenings but that's not the same). I can't imagine NXWM would lose much custom if they just had a single (£1.90) and the Daysaver (£3.80) although a return priced about £2.60 might be interesting.

Some of the bigger routes have a £2.50 return fare (might be more now). It used to be universal (just not advertised), but now they advertise it as a special fare on certain services so I think it was withdrawn from others.
 

MCW

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Haha. Where did you go? I might be able to tell you whether you were undercharged that time or overcharged normally. Hang on, 4617 is a Wigston bus so I have a general incline. ;)

£1.80 is a Citybus fare. Arriva only has £1.70.

yeah got mixed up I was tired!

Ok mr expert where do I get off then? ;)
 

bb21

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yeah got mixed up I was tired!

Ok mr expert where do I get off then? ;)

OK I have it narrowed down to one of five corridors: London Road, Welford Road, Saffron Lane, Aylestone Road and Narborough Road. ;)
 

SteveP29

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Are you going back to at least 1986?

Even back then, there was still the anomaly where you pay a fare on each bus you get on rather than pay a fare for the whole trip on your first bus. That means if you change buses it usually costs more than if one bus went the whole way. Trains, on the other hand, allow through ticketing. This is partly mitigated these days by day tickets.

I still find it quite strange on Go North East that you can't buy a single ticket on your first bus that would allow you to complete your journey that will necessitate a change of bus without having to buy another.
Then again, they still run 15-20 year old buses in their fleet, so don't expect them to get up to date any time soon. (can you tell I have an intense dislike for GNE?? haha)
 

SS4

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I still find it quite strange on Go North East that you can't buy a single ticket on your first bus that would allow you to complete your journey that will necessitate a change of bus without having to buy another.

Can you do that anywhere in the country? One cannot in the West Midlands
 

radamfi

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Just in case people weren't aware, it IS normal in Europe outside the UK and Ireland to buy a ticket on your first bus that allows you to complete your journey whether you change buses or not. That can also include trams and trains depending on the area.

As usual, Britain is the exception, and not in a good way.
 

neilmc

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I think the move in the UK is to make anything other than day or weekly passes prohibitively expensive, so nobody is interested in single tickets which allow a change en route.
 

WestCoast

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Just in case people weren't aware, it IS normal in Europe outside the UK and Ireland to buy a ticket on your first bus that allows you to complete your journey whether you change buses or not. That can also include trams and trains depending on the area.

As usual, Britain is the exception, and not in a good way.

"Transfer single fares" are extremely common in North America as well, although they are sometimes a separate ticketing product. In Europe, I can think of a few places (Prague is a prime example) where you pay a small additional amount for a "transfer fare".
 

p123

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Prepare for a First Group rant here...

I once wanted to know the fare using First from west Edinburgh to Livingston. There was absolutly nothing on the website and I had to phone a random number to ask about a journey to find out how much it would cost (bearing in mind, First take exact change only - I didn't want to give them any more than I had to!)

Anyway, as it transpired as I have a railcard the train was cheaper to take.

This also seems to be the case in Glasgow, with a staggering £1.80 single, (£3.60 return) - I can travel from Glasgow to Dumbarton and back on the train for cheaper than a return with First Bus within the city.
 
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