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How would you improve how ticket destinations work in central Manchester?

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py_megapixel

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Based on this thread: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...erience-of-buying-such-tickets-online.215855/
The fact that "Manchester Stations", "Manchester CtlZ", and separate listings for all four of the stations in the central zone (which has been called Zone 1 for ages now, but the tickets still haven't been updated to reflect that) all co-exist in booking engines and don't do the same thing, as well as the fact that there is a station beginning "Manchester" which a ticket to "Manchester Stations" wouldn't be valid to, make perfect sense if you already have some grasp of why.
But if you don't, it's hopeless and you'd be forgiven for trying to buy a ticket, seeing the website fail, and giving up and taking the bus or the car instead.

In this particular example (from Heald Green), the £5.00 fare from Heald Green to Metrolink Zones 1-2 is for a single combined train and tram journey.

By comparison, fares with a destination of Manchester Central Zone are valid for unlimited travel within Zone 1 (formerly the Central Zone).

The combined train and tram through tickets were previously priced to lettered Metrolink zones (A to H if memory serves) and were rather obscure creatures that booking offices often had to rummage around to find in my experience.

So, just to clarify:

If I want to travel from Hazel Grove to Victoria, I can buy a single ticket all the way, including the Metrolink leg.
But if I want to travel from Victoria to Hazel Grove, I pay the same amount for the train ticket but then have to buy an extra ticket for the Metrolink.

Just to make things even more fun, if you are buying your single ticket from a Metrolink TVM within Metrolink zones 1-2, which includes the City Centre and the next zone out, it *might* just be possible to buy a through single from Victoria to destination "Rail Zone 2", which zone includes Hazel Grove.

There is no reason why this has to be so complicated.

Tickets should be available to zone 1, 1-2, 1-3 and 1-4.
Those tickets should include the train journey from the origin to any of the four stations in zone 1 (Picc, Vic, Oxford Road, Deansgate) plus unlimited Metrolink travel within the zones on the ticket.
ALL tickets to Manchester should be issued by default as a ticket to zone 1.

And the same should be true in reverse for tickets in the other direction. The conditions being different depending on which direction your ticket is in is absolutely ludicrous.
 
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Joshua483

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Based on this thread: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...erience-of-buying-such-tickets-online.215855/

There is no reason why this has to be so complicated.

Tickets should be available to zone 1, 1-2, 1-3 and 1-4.
Those tickets should include the train journey from the origin to any of the four stations in zone 1 (Picc, Vic, Oxford Road, Deansgate) plus unlimited Metrolink travel within the zones on the ticket.
ALL tickets to Manchester should be issued by default as a ticket to zone 1.

And the same should be true in reverse for tickets in the other direction. The conditions being different depending on which direction your ticket is in is absolutely ludicrous.
No they should be that you can rail or Picvic or Metro link unlimited.
 

py_megapixel

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No they should be that you can rail or Picvic or Metro link unlimited.
How is that different from my suggestion? Are you suggesting free Metrolink in all zones on all tickets? Because that would be rather generous and probably wouldn't provide any meaningful benefit to the average passenger.
 

ta-toget

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How is that different from my suggestion? Are you suggesting free Metrolink in all zones on all tickets? Because that would be rather generous and probably wouldn't provide any meaningful benefit to the average passenger.
It seems to me that it might be a suggestion that tickets should be available that don't include any travel on Metrolink, which you did not appear to offer, as far as I can tell. Whether that's a good idea, I don't really know, not being familiar with Manchester travellers, and never having been there myself (though I'd like to visit one day, to see what there is to see).
 

py_megapixel

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It seems to me that it might be a suggestion that tickets should be available that don't include any travel on Metrolink, which you did not appear to offer, as far as I can tell.
That's possible.

In reality, I think non-Metrolink-users are probably a large minority rather than a majority - but my suggestions were aimed at making the system easier to understand, and I personally think "Every ticket to Manchester is valid within Zone 1 on Metrolink" is something which can be easily communicated via signage and online. It is also good for integrated travel. For example, if it can be expected that everyone arriving at or departing from Piccadilly will have a quick and easy way to get to Piccadilly Gardens* at no additional cost, it becomes practical to advertise connections from bus (Picc Gdns) to train (Picc) and vice-versa via the tram.

* If you weren't already aware, Piccadilly Gardens is one of the largest, if not the largest, bus stations in the city centre.
 

Alex27

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I'm not particularly familiar with Manchester, is there a sort of travelcard equivalent or any through ticketing on NR/ metrolink?
 

40129

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Essentially, I'd make it a similar set up to London, i.e. single and return tickets being available to/from anywhere on Metrolink, plus cross city transfers i.e. Piccadilly/Deansgate - Victoria, being included in the National Rail fare. Plus as per the OP suggestion automatically include travel within Metrolink zone 1 in all tickets issue to Manchester.

The above would make the situation in Manchester the same as in Liverpool where tickets to/form 'Liverpool Stations' include Merseyrail to/from James Street, Liverpool Central and Moorfields and cross city travel is included by virtue of Merseyrail being part of National Rail.

Going slightly OT, I'd also like to see the same arrangements put in place for Newcastle and Sunderland with Tyne & Wear Metro, Sheffield and Rotherham with Supertram, and Birmingham with Midland Metro
 
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