In probably one of the least surprising pieces of news we have reported on recently Manchester Metrolink fares look set to see a phased increase over three years rather than a single large increase in January 2018. You may remember that earlier this year a public consultation was undertaken by Transport for Greater Manchester asking Metrolink travellers for their opinions on how the fares should go up and unsurprisingly the majority of respondents have plumped for the gradual increase.
Fares on Metrolink have seen no increase since 2014 in recognition of the disruption caused by the Transformation project which has seen major work at Deansgate-Castlefield, St Peter’s Square, Victoria and of course the construction of the Second City Crossing. However it was always the intention that once these works were finished the equivalent increases would be applied. In the summer a consultation asked travellers whether they would prefer a big increase in 2018 or a phased introduction over three years; and it is the latter option which has been the most popular with 78% of 5,025 people selecting this plan.
Metrolink fares will rise by an average of 5.93% from January 2018 – the standard RPI +1% increase is also to be applied hence why the figure is so high. The increases are required to cover network operating costs and the costs of borrowing secured to pay for the expansion programme.
In addition to these standard increases other changes to Metrolink fares are set to include:
* Harmonising all child fares across the Metrolink network, bringing them to 50% of the adult fare across the board
* Increasing the cost of a special event ticket to £4 (this had been held at £3 since 2012)
* Introducing a discounted 5-18 special event ticket (priced at 50% of the adult ticket)
* Reduction in fares for 16-18 year olds to 50% of adult level for off-peak and weekend tickets
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority are due to meet to approve these fare changes on 29th September.