It has been confirmed that fares on Manchester Metrolink are to increase by an average of 4.2% in January 2014 – in line with the agreed financial strategy that underpins Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s established major investment programme. The 4.2% works out as RPI+1%, which is the usual way of working out fare increases on the network.
With smart ticketing due to be launched on Manchester Metrolink in 2014, and as a result of customer feedback, the changes to fares within the average 4.2% are focused on making fares simpler, more consistent and more transparent.
Quarterly season tickets and four-adult day Travelcards are to be withdrawn as part of a commitment to offer a range of tickets consistent with other modes of transport whilst it has been decided to increase the City Zone slightly by adding New Islington to the area which will offer better value for anyone travelling from that stop.
Obviously fare increases are never going to be popular and with the difficulties experienced by Metrolink over the past few months they are likely to be even less so.
Justifying the increases Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “At a time when local authorities are facing significant budget pressures, it is vital that Metrolink can cover its own operating costs without any burden on the public purse. The Retail Price Index indicates how much operating costs have changed in the past year in real terms, and fares increase by that level to meet those costs. Put simply, what cost £100 last year now costs £103.20, and that needs to be accounted for. But Metrolink is, of course, in the midst of unprecedented investment, growth and exciting change: by 2016, the network will have trebled to 60 miles in size, with 94 trams serving 93 stops across a number of new lines. At the same time, we are in the final stages of replacing all 32 of the original trams with brand new vehicles as part of a near-£200 million fleet investment, and we’ve opened a second, state-of-the-art depot and operational HQ in Trafford. The Victoria, St Peter’s Square and Deansgate-Castlefield stops are also about to be transformed as part of the Second City Crossing. Metrolink fares continue to offer value for money, particularly for season ticket holders.”
Exact details of specific price changes will be available on the official Manchester Metrolink website from Monday 9th December.