A new £1 bus fare to incentivise off-peak bus travel is coming to Cardiff in the run up to Christmas.
Running from Friday, December 3rd, up to and including Thursday, December 16th, the offer – which will run from Monday to Friday each week – will be available through all bus companies that operate services in the citythat are participating in the Bus Promotion Scheme.It will see all single fares after 9.30am – that leave and arrive within the Cardiff boundary – reduced to £1.
Cardiff Bus, Stagecoach, Adventure Travel, Edwards Coaches and First Cymru have all signed up to the Cardiff Council scheme.
Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Caro Wild said: “Improving bus travel is one of the main priorities set out in the council’s 10-year transport vision. We want to double the number of people travelling by bus in the city by 2030, so we want to see what effect a £1 bus fare might have on people’s behaviour.
“The latest data shows that traffic levels in the city, and bus travel during peak times, have returned to just below pre-covid levels. However, travelling by bus to go to the shops or other leisure activities is still only at around 80% of the levels that we saw before the pandemic began.
“We hope this subsidised trial will encourage people back onto public transport and even tempt car users to give bus travel a go. As we face up to the climate emergency, finding ways to convince the public to get out of their cars and to take the bus, walk or cycle to work is becoming increasingly important, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the outcome of this trial. We will be able to compare any increase in numbers travelling by bus against the cost to subsidise these services. This will allow us to see if incentive schemes such as this work in practice.”
This promotion can only be used in its own right and cannot be used with any other offer available from the bus companies or the MyTravel Scheme which is already subsidised by Welsh Government.
The £1 off peak bus fare is for a single fare only. If a customer needs to interchange between different bus providers to get to their destination, then they would need to pay £1 to the bus operator for each stage of their journey.
Barclay Davies, Director for Bus Users Cymru, said: “We welcome this initiative to incentivise off peak bus travel and reduce congestion in the City Centre, particularly at this time of year. It provides an ideal opportunity for those who don’t regularly travel by bus to leave the car at home and see how easy and effective bus travel can be at the same time as improving air quality for all.”
Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff, said: “This is a great offer to ensure that people consider a green and cheaper option in order to venture into the city centre for shopping, leisure or work at such a crucial time for businesses. It will be really interesting to utilise the data as well to see what the demand will be and if it is a strong enough offer to elicit a change in people’s travel habits and perceptions.”
Cllr Wild added: “With the Christmas season just around the corner, we hope that as many people as possible take advantage of this offer, and by working with all the bus companies operating in Cardiff, we intend to explore other incentive schemes to make bus travel a more attractive and viable option for both residents and commuters to use.”