These are the first increases to local bus fares made by Stagecoach West for nearly two years and reflect the rising costs of running services.
Since 2019, costs across the bus industry have risen by around 12 per cent, mainly driven by fuel and staff wage increases. Fare increases are below the annual rate of inflation (RPI) of 7.5 per cent* and will go towards the day-to-day running of services, as well as investing in improvements.
The changes include a simplification of the tickets offered across the West designed to make it easier for passengers to find the best value travel.
The transport company will introduce a new day ticket bundle, Flexi 5. The ticket will save passengers 20 per cent on a DayRider, offering five days of travel for the price of four. The new ticket type is ideal for hybrid workers who are not in the office every day, or for those that need more flexibility.
The Gold Day and MegaRider tickets will now cover the entire Stagecoach West network, offering unlimited travel across Bristol, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Swindon, and Wiltshire, to make it easier for passengers to travel between towns.
Elsewhere, less-used tickets such as 13-week, annual, and dedicated DayRider tickets will be withdrawn.
The changes also include how customers using the Banbury Plus tickets will now need to instead choose from the Oxford Country or Gold ranges. Headington Connect tickets will be replaced by the Oxford city ticket range.
For the latest Banbury ticket fares see the following web link: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/west/fare-changes#tab1Changes will also be made to Oxford Tube fares. Although increasing, single and return fares remain highly competitive in comparison to rail tickets, providing a good value alternative for travel to the Capital.
Rachel Geliamassi, managing director for Stagecoach West, said: “Stagecoach has consistently delivered some of the lowest ticket prices in the country and we are committed to continuing to keep fares as low as possible for our passengers.
“Like many sectors of the economy, bus operators are seeing significant cost inflation, primarily driven by increased fuel and staffing costs. At the same time, the money bus operators receive in fares to keep services running remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels.
“The changes we are making follows freeze of fares for nearly two years and are below the annual rise in inflation.
“As well as paying for the day to day running of the country’s vital bus networks, ticket costs help us to continue investing in improvements for our passengers and pay for bus workers who have worked hard to keep communities connected and services running during the pandemic.”
Stagecoach is also making significant investments in customer experience and new greener vehicles as part of its sustainability strategy. Key improvements include:
- Launch of a new dedicated customer contact centre providing customers with an easily accessible, one-stop contact point for any queries about their bus service.
- As part of the customer transformation strategy, Stagecoach is making major investment in a new customer relationship management system to provide tailored support, better understand customers’ end-to-end journeys, and quickly address any emerging common issues.
- Introduction of simpler, more consistent fares, easier to understand ticket types and, through the use of technology, delivering new and more flexible products.
- Investment in greener vehicles, including electric buses, as part of an overall target for a zero emissions UK bus fleet by 2035.
- Investment in new technology to help provide improved timetables and more reliable services.
For more information about ticketing and fares see its website here: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/west/fare-changes.