One thing almost as certain as death and taxes is public transport fare increases and the latest system to announce their new fares for 2020 has been Manchester Metrolink. It will be a mixed bag for travellers on Metrolink with an average 2.2% increase proposed including single fares being frozen at 2019 prices with some fares going up by around 4%.
Single fares will be frozen at their current prices in a move which is aimed at helping more people switch to trams and in turn reducing congestion in the region and improving air quality in Greater Manchester.
In addition to this price freeze is that there will be new ticket prices for early risers and part-time workers with cheaper travel being introduced. An early bird ticket offer was trialled earlier this year and helped to reduce congestion both by people leaving their cars at home and passengers spreading the time of their morning journeys across a longer period. The contactless payment system will be used to calculate these fares.
As well as these early bird tickets a new flexible carnet style ticket will be introduced which will offer the more than 25% of Greater Manchester’s workers in part-time employment, better value compared to the products currently available. This will be initially available on the get me there smart card and will allow passengers to buy a pack of 10 1 day travelcards at a discounted rate.
In total 45% of tickets sold will be frozen with 50% increasing by 4% of less. Some travelcard prices will be rising by 10p, which is said to be the lowest possible amount they can increase. On average Metrolink ticket prices will increase by a below inflation rate of 2.2% with previously planned above inflation rates put on hold. Part of the reason for the delay in larger increases is because of a recognition of capacity issues during peak times, the delay in the delivery of Metrolink’s new trams and the fact that there will be a number of road improvements starting in the new year.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Metrolink is a world-class system entirely owned, managed and run at a local level, and that is why we are able to be responsive to the needs of the travelling public in Greater Manchester. We recognise that the cost of travelling is a concern for many people, and that we need to deliver a transport system that is both affordable and fit for purpose. This is a broad package of changes that will mean frozen fares and below-inflation caps on price rises for the majority of tickets sold, as well as a small increase to some fares. They’re a reflection of the principles that underpin Our Network – specifically, they ensure we are being accountable, that we can continue to invest in Metrolink, and that our public transport remains affordable, accessible and convenient.”
The new fares currently remain “proposed” and will be discussed at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority later this month where it is fully expected they will be adopted.
* A list of the new fares can be seen on the TfGM press release.