Fares on FirstBus routes are changing as they have introduced a flat rate for the first time ever on buses travelling in the West of England transport area. The changes, which will come into effect on November 11, will cover Bristol and the surrounding areas of South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset.
The new flat fare and a host of other changes is part of the most radical overhaul of the fare structure in a generation. Virtually every fare is changing, from the cheapest ‘three-stop-hop’ to tickets that last a whole week.
Anyone regularly travelling longer distances will see their fares come down, while those that are only travelling for shorter journeys of less than three miles, the fares are going up, with the flat rate being around £2.50. The popular Day Rider ticket, which is currently £4.50 for unlimited travel within Bristol, will rise to £5 if you buy it from the driver with cash, there is a reduction in price for anyone using the First Bus app.
In a statement, First Bus said the move was being carried out for two reasons – to simpify the fare structure within the Bristol inner zone and end anomalies for people that live and work either side of the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ Bristol zones, and also to continue to encourage people to use the ‘pay before you board’ electronic tickets.
The changes to the fares are as follows:
Three Stop Hop : Now £1 will be £1.20
Single tickets short trips (less than three miles) (bought on bus) Now £2. Will be £2.50
Single ticket short trips (less than three miles) mTicket/phone (in packs of five tickets): Now £1.50. Will be £2
Single ticket long trips (more than three miles) (bought on bus) Now £3. Will be £2.50
Single ticket long trips (more than three miles) mTicket/phone (in packs of five) Now £2.50. Will be £2
Day Rider bought on bus. Now £4.50. Will be £5
Night Rider bought on bus. Now £3. Will be £3.50
Week ticket bought on bus. Now £18. Will be £20
Day Rider mTicket £4
Day Rider mTicket £4
Week ticket mTicket £17
Customers currently paying West of England Zone fares will benefit from what First Bus has said will be ‘significant reductions’ because the company has simplified the fare zones. The Bath & Bristol Outer Zone is removed, with the West of England Zone covering all travel not contained within the Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare zones.
Adult day tickets in the West of England Zone are reduced by £1 if bought before boarding the bus, week tickets by £3, month tickets by £16.00 and year tickets by a significant £210. Discounts of up to 50 per cent for children and up to 30 per cent for students as well as those aged 16-21 will result in reduced West of England Zone fares for these customers too.
Customers who purchase Bath & Bristol Outer Zone tickets before 11 November and valid for travel after that date will be able to use their tickets for travel across the whole West of England Zone. Customers who previously bought Bath & Bristol Outer Zone tickets will buy West of England Zone tickets from 11 November.
The price of tickets bought on the bus will increase for these customers but mTicket prices for day, night, week, month and year tickets are unchanged from their old Outer Zone levels – and allow travel across the whole West of England Zone.
Single ticket prices in the West of England Zone will all increase by 50p, and the pack of 10 single journeys previously available for the Bath & Bristol Outer Zone will now be sold as a West of England Zone pack of 5 single journeys at £3.50 per journey, available on mTickets, Travelwest smartcard and from the Bristol Bus Station travel shop.
These aren’t the only changes that have been made to the bus fares in the Bristol area. There will be some changes to Bristol Park and Ride Fares, with the adult off-peak cash return fare increasing to £3.50 and corresponding increases to Young Person/Student and child fares to £2.50 and £1.80 respectively. Multi-packs of five, ten and 20 Park and Ride day tickets on the mTickets app will also increase to £17.50, £32, and £60 respectively.