Radio Sandwell Local News

Bus fares are going up in the West Midlands

2015-12-10 13:49:26

WM TravelBuses in Birmingham city centre

Most bus fares are going up by another 10p on standard tickets and monthly travelcards in the West Midlands are set to rise by an extra £2.

The region’s major bus operator National Express West Midlands has revealed that in 2016 an adult single ticket will cost £2.30, up from £2.20 this year, and a monthly travelcard will now cost a hefty £54.50.

The Birmingham-based company also announced that one-week travel cards will be going up by 50p to £17 and a daysaver is rising by 20p to £4.40 next year.

The only standard ticket to be cut is the off-peak daysaver although smartcard prices will see some reductions.

The pay-as-you-go ‘Swift’ smartcards, introduced in October, allow passengers to hop on and off buses without handing over any cash.

The Oyster-style cards can be topped up at more than 200 payzone outlets before being presented on-board.

Peter Coates, National Express West Midlands’s managing director, defended the price rises by pointing to other cost reductions.

He said: “Overall a quarter of passengers will benefit from reduced or frozen fares.

“We have cut the price of the off-peak daysaver to just £4 to make it even cheaper and easier to go shopping or have a night out and it will always be best value to pay with the new Swift smartcard.

“We will also be investing tens of millions next year in new services, including more of our premium Platinum routes for Birmingham and the Black Country”.

Earlier this year Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced that £620,000 will be given to regional transport body Centro over the next two years to extend smart ticketing across the rail network.

In September Birmingham commuters were hit with another nasty sursprise when Virgin Trains announced it was scrapping its so-called ‘double discount’ - where customers could use discounted, off-peak tickets on peak time trains - leading to a price increase of up to 300 per cent.

At the time 68-year-old business boss Peter Wall said: “I just don’t know how they can explain such a massive increase - and this will hit thousands of people.”

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