The annual Metrolink fares review has been agreed by members of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.
In line with the agreed financial strategy that underpins Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s established major investment programme, Metrolink fares will rise by 4,2% in January 2014. This, according to TFGM, is to meet operating costs and to contribute towards the £1.5 billion Greater Manchester Transport Fund, which is investing in extensions and improvements to the network.
Details of specific 2014 ticket prices will be available on the Metrolink website – www.metrolink.co.uk – from Monday 9 December.
The TFGM Comittee say that in line with customer feedback and the launch of smart ticketing on the Metrolink network in 2014, the changes being made within that overall average are focused on making fares simpler, more consistent and more transparent. Quarterly season tickets and four-adult day Travelcards will also be withdrawn as part of a commitment to offer a range of tickets consistent with other modes of transport.
Councillor 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.”