The new ticket prices will add on average 4.9% onto the cost of bus travel.
These increases reflect the rising costs of running services. Since 2019, costs across the bus industry have risen by around 12%, mainly driven by fuel and staff wage increases. Fares increases being made are below the annual rate of inflation (CPI) of 8.2%. (Current CPI inflation rate is 8.2%)
In 2021 Stagecoach Bluebird simplified its fares and tickets to make them more consistent and easier to understand. The new ticket options meant that many single fares were reduced in price, a simpler zone structure was introduced and new tickets offering more flexible travel options were introduced, including Flexi 5.
Almost all the money received in fares goes towards paying for the day-to-day running of services as well as investing in improvements. The amount of money bus operators receives in fares to keep services running remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels.
The operator will shortly introduce 22 fully electric buses as part of an investment of £21.4m across Scotland which will improve air quality and support the Scottish Government’s environmental targets.
Peter Knight, Managing Director for Stagecoach Bluebird 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.
“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.”
The fare change taking place on 8th May affects the majority of tickets across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, representing an average of 4.9% increase on single and multi-journey tickets.
Customers under the age of 22 can benefit from free bus travel across Scotland, following the introduction of the Under 22 concession scheme by the Scottish Government. More details on how to apply for free travel can be found at www.getyournec.scot.
Stagecoach is making a significant investment in improvements for customers and investing in new greener vehicles as part of its sustainability strategy. Key improvements include:
- 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 provide improved customer information, including developments to the popular Stagecoach Bus app.
- Working towards improved bus priority measures through bus partnerships alongside local authorities, regional transport partnerships, and other bus operators. Partnership working in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire has secured initial funding from Transport Scotland’s Bus Partnership Fund to improve journey times across the region.
For more information about ticketing and fares, visit www.stagecoachbus.com.