Study shows buses offer better value travel than commuting by car

01 Feb 2018

  • Bus passengers in Devon can save up to £1,218.69 per year by leaving car at home
  • Research coincides with national campaign highlighting value and flexibility of Stagecoach weekly tickets.
  • Unlimited 7-day bus travel across the whole of Devon costs just £4.14 per day

A new study has shown that consumers can get better value for money by taking the bus instead of commuting by car.

The research – carried out by Stagecoach - showed that people who use the bus to commute between Torquay and Exeter are on average £1,218.69 better off than those travelling to work by car.

The research was revealed as Stagecoach launches a nationwide campaign to highlight the value and flexibility offered through the company’s multi-journey weekly tickets.

In Devon, the cost of a weekly megarider Gold ticket – which can be used anytime and anywhere across Stagecoach’s South West network over a seven day period – is just £29. A variety of other local area seven day tickets are also available, with prices starting from as little as £101.

The study showed that in the South West, bus travel costs are around 48% cheaper than the same commute by car, saving passengers an average of around £105.97 a month, according to the study.

The latest research by Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, covered around 35 key commuter routes in England, Scotland and Wales. It compared the weekly price of hopping on the bus with the cost of fuel and car parking for the same journeys.

The study found there was an average annual savings of £1,200 across all of the routes surveyed - enough to cover the entire annual energy costs for a three or four bedroom house2.

Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: “This research shows it can still be significantly cheaper to commute to work by bus rather than car for many people. The savings could go towards a family holiday, home improvements or more into the monthly shopping budget.

“We work hard to deliver high quality services for the many people who rely on the bus, and our current campaign demonstrates the great value, unlimited travel we offer through our weekly tickets.”

Stagecoach’s findings come as the latest Office of National Statistics research showed a 3% rise in the number of households that own a car or van between 2016 and 2017.3

However, research by campaign group Greener Journeys last year warned of the damaging impact of congestion within towns and cities across the UK. The research – by Professor David Begg – revealed that average traffic speeds in Britain’s busiest cities are set to fall to just 12mph by 2030 as traffic delays are expected to double over the next decade.4

Bob Dennison added: “Unfortunately, along with other road users, our customers are being affected by the serious issue of traffic congestion which reduces the reliability of bus services, pushes up fares, reduces air quality and undermines the attractiveness of bus travel.

“We are investing in continued improvements for our customers but we need those responsible for road infrastructure to match that commitment by freeing up road space to let buses flourish.”

Stagecoach has made a series of investments to help transform bus travel for customers, including the Stagecoach Bus app which offers journey planning, real-time bus tracking, next stop information and mobile ticketing. The company has also introduced contactless payments – along with Apple Pay and Android Pay - across more than half of its UK bus fleet, with the technology on schedule to be introduced across all operating companies this year.

Stagecoach South West has invested more than £7.5 million in new vehicles for its operations over the past year. 

Further information on Stagecoach UK Bus visit




The study assessed the cost of making the journey daily by car, taking into account only the cost of fuel, parking and any toll road payments – no other costs associated with car ownership were included. The survey then compared the motoring cost with the cost of purchasing a weekly multi-journey ticket on Stagecoach buses which allows unlimited travel on Stagecoach services within the designated area. The results are based on an average saving calculated across 35 commuter routes in the UK. Individual savings will vary. Fuel prices recorded between 7-15 January 2018. Monthly and annual savings calculated on Weekly Megarider purchases over 46 weeks of the year.

1Barnstaple 7 day megarider