Stagecoach offers lowest average weekly bus fares of main national operators - independent survey.
- Stagecoach weekly travel nearly £1 cheaper than UK average and £4 cheaper than London prices
- Britain's biggest bus and coach operator also offers biggest weekly mobile ticket discount
- Stagecoach one of only two operators with 100% smartcard, m-ticket and contactless availability
- Bus travel accounts for 3% of the average weekly wage compared with 16% for running a car
- Multi-operator ticketing available in all of the biggest regions outside London
- Operators keeping fares down despite above-inflation cost increases driven by road congestion
- Stagecoach offers the lowest average weekly bus fares of Britain's four main national operators, according to new independent research.
The national survey also found that Stagecoach weekly bus travel was nearly £1 cheaper than the UK average and over £4 cheaper than weekly capped bus travel in London.
Details are revealed in the sixth National Bus Fares Survey undertaken by transport consultants TAS and published this month.
The research surveyed nearly 1,100 adult fares in 2019 across England, Scotland and Wales, including those offered by national operators, independent bus companies and municipal operators.
The survey found that the average Stagecoach weekly ticket cost £17.15, compared with a mean weekly ticket price of £18.03 based on all operators surveyed in Britain. In comparison, weekly travel with Arriva is £17.76; First £18.92. and Go-Ahead £19.37.
Stagecoach's average weekly bus travel is also more than £4 cheaper than the Transport for London weekly cap of £21.20 for bus travel in the capital. On average, Stagecoach weekly tickets offer a 29% discount compared to the price of buying single tickets.
The TAS report says that use of new technology for ticket sales - particularly contactless and m-ticketing - is increasing. In 2019, Stagecoach completed the biggest roll-out of contactless technology by any bus operator in Britain to simplify ticketing.
Stagecoach has also launched a new bus app, which offers mobile ticketing and real-time tracking of bus services on an interactive map. TAS found that Stagecoach was one of only two main operators to have 100% availability of smartcard, m-ticket and contactless options.
Mark Threapleton, Stagecoach Chief Operating Officer, said: "Connecting communities, providing the best value travel and making it easier for people to use the bus is what we're about. We're proud that this latest research shows Stagecoach continues to lead the bus sector.
"Despite facing above-inflation rises in operating costs, mainly driven by road congestion, we have kept our fares low and continued to make multi-million-pound investments in greener buses and other improvements for our customers and communities."
The TAS survey also found that:
- Stagecoach had the cheapest weekly ticket in the country (£7 in Guildford) and three out of five of the cheapest weekly tickets (the other two were £8.30 in Kirkcaldy and £9 in Irvine)
- Stagecoach offers the biggest weekly mobile ticket discount in the country, with its Merseyrider Plus ticket offering a discount of 20% to the on-bus price
- Weekly bus travel in Britain accounts for only 2.8% of the average weekly wage of £648.37
- Car weekly running costs (including finance) are £86.32, 16% of the average weekly wage
- Bus operator costs have risen by 0.4% above inflation since 2017, largely driven by road congestion
- There is 100% availability of multi-operator tickets in Passenger Transport Executive areas covering the biggest regions outside London