National Express West Midlands is freezing most bus fares from 2 January 2020 - and shattering them for young people.
All cash fares next year will stay as they are this year. This is the third year in a row that they have remained the same - the last time cash fares went up was January 2017. This means the off-peak daysaver - the bus company’s biggest-selling product - will cost in 2020 what it did in 2014. And the weekly travelcard is being reduced from £18 to £17.50.
National Express West Midlands is also massively cutting the price of the under-18s all-day ticket - the daysaver - from £3.10 in 2019 to £2.30 in 2020.
Chris Gibbens, National Express West Midlands’ Commercial Director, said:
“In 2020, nine out of ten journeys on our buses will cost the same - or less - than they were in 2019. Across all of our tickets, the average change to fares in 2020 is zero.
“And don’t forget, the cheapest way to buy bus travel is still our yearly pass, paid for on direct debit. And I’m happy to say that in 2020, you’ll pay exactly the same for that as you did in 2019 too.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“Buses are the backbone of public transport in the West Midlands, with more than 250 million journeys being undertaken each year – more than the rail and metro networks combined.
“With so many people reliant on the bus as their main mode of transport, it is imperative that journeys are kept accessible with fares low and competitive.
“Today’s announcement by National Express means exactly that, with the cash price of every single ticket not budging – expect getting cheaper in some cases. This means cash prices will not have increased once since 2017, and I am determined that we continue to keep prices low to help attract more passengers.
“On top of the cash fare freeze, we have new environmentally clean state-of-the-art Platinum buses that are being introduced by National Express on routes across the West Midlands, and all low-fare zones will continue as today – a major boost for high streets and town centres across the region.
“Put simply, journeys across the West Midlands are improving significantly at no extra cash cost to passengers. National Express and Transport for West Midlands deserve great praise for making this possible.”
Chris Gibbens added:
“Birmingham is the youngest major city in Europe. For the sake of the planet, we want our young people to grow up using public transport. So we are making it really, really cheap for West Midlands under-18s to get the bus - to school, to college, to work or just to go out with their friends.”
Anisa Morridadi, CEO of Beatfreeks Collective, welcomed the news:
“Today’s announcement is a huge boost for young people in the West Midlands.
“We’re delighted that National Express have honoured their pledge made at this year’s Brum Youth Trends summit to make buses cheaper for young people in 2020.
“Public transport is often a lifeline for millions of young people across our region, providing access to education, culture and leisure that would otherwise be out of reach. With the cost of living increasing, freezing and lowering bus fares will keep money in the pockets of young people, easing financial worries and increasing disposable income.
“We would also like to congratulate National Express for their commitment to young people and look forward to seeing the benefits of this announcement in 2020.
“Beatfreeks will continue to champion the interests of young people, speaking truth to power and advocating for the changes set out in our Brum Youth Trends report.”
National Express West Midlands is aiming to attract more customers to use the bus. Although some fares are going up in 2020, the bus company will be investing £11 million on 29 electric-powered buses. These will be arriving early in 2020 to run on routes in Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham - bringing another big reduction in National Express’ carbon footprint.
And all tickets in the low-fare zones (Sandwell & Dudley; Walsall; outer Birmingham) will still be available at the current sale price - which is £3 for a day ticket or £11 for a weekly pass. This is part of National Express West Midlands’ campaign to help local high streets and support small businesses.
Published 9th December 2019