Most residents can travel more cheaply by bus for the next three months, thanks to a new scheme by the Government that limits the price of an adult single bus fare to £2 on most routes.
Running from 01 January until 31 March 2023, bus fares will be capped on most routes operated by participating bus providers in Oxfordshire – Arriva, Oxford Bus Company, Redline Buses, Stagecoach, Thames Travel, Reading Buses and Thames Valley Buses.
The temporary £2 bus fare cap on adult fares does not change the concessionary fare scheme or impact free travel, and services where singles already cost less than £2 are also not included.
It is worth mentioning that the fare cap does not apply to dedicated school services, services which only run on school days or match days, and coach services, including the Oxford Tube.
Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “It is great that so many bus operators in Oxfordshire have signed up to take part in the bus fare cap scheme.
“We know the cost of living pressures are affecting many people, and hopefully, these discounted fares will help residents to cut costs as they use buses to get to school, to work and to visit our town and city centres.
“Swapping car journeys for bus trips also helps reduce the number of cars in our town and city centres, reducing congestion, cutting emissions, and improving the environment.”
Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Interim Managing Director, said: “Bus travel remains fantastic value for money and this generous initiative makes it even more attractive.
“We know it is a challenging time for many currently, and this three-month offer will help people at a crucial time. We hope it encourages many people to give our bus services a try, and I’d encourage people to visit our website for the full details.”
What exactly is the £2 bus fare cap?
From 01 January until 31 March 2023, the cost of an adult single bus fare will be a maximum of £2 in England outside London. This is being funded by the Government to help ease the cost of living pressures over the winter. The cap will help people save money on their travel costs and will encourage more people to choose buses for local journeys and beyond.
What journeys does it cover?
The £2 adult single fare will cover all journeys by participating bus operators on local bus services. Arriva, Oxford Bus Company, Redline Buses, Stagecoach, Thames Travel, Reading Buses and Thames Valley Buses are participating, so any journey you take on these local bus services will be included, but there are some exemptions.
Is there a maximum distance?
No, there isn’t a maximum distance. But the cap only covers local buses – it doesn’t cover coach services.
What payment methods are included?
All payment methods are included. You can pay for your ticket in cash, using a contactless card/device, the mobile app or Freeflow (Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel), and you won’t be charged more than £2.
My usual fare is below £2. Does this mean it will go up to £2?
Some ‘short hop’ fares cost less than £2, and will therefore remain unchanged, so you will not pay any more than usual for your journey.
Does this cap cover child fares as well as adult fares?
Yes, child fares on bus services will be capped at a maximum of £2.
Are the prices of other tickets, such as weekly, monthly and multi-trips, affected by the cap?
No, these tickets will remain the same as they are now. Depending on how often you travel, you may find that the £2 single fare is cheaper. It will depend on the type of ticket you purchase.
I have a concessionary ticket and get free/discounted travel. Will I have to pay £2?
As part of the offer, you won’t pay more than you usually do for a journey. If previously you were paying less than £2, or if your fare was free of charge, nothing changes.
If fares are capped, do I still have to ‘tap on’ and ‘tap off’ when using Freeflow?
Yes, you still need to tap on and tap off in order to ensure the bus provider can calculate the correct fare. If you don’t tap off when leaving the bus, you will be charged to the end of the route. During this offer, that means a maximum of £2.
What happens if I change buses – do I have to pay £2 twice?
Yes, you do. The fare cap only applies to a journey on a single bus. If you’re travelling on more than two buses in a day, check for alternative ticketing options, like zone or period tickets, in the area you are travelling in, as these might represent better value.
How long does the offer last?
The offer runs until the end of March 2023.
Could it be extended?
The England-wide national offer ends at the end of March 2023. It is possible that there may be local fare offers beyond that date – if so, it will be publicised.
Where can I find further information?
More details are available on the Government’s website or by visiting the participating bus providers’ websites: