Changes to tickets & fares from 23 July

Changes to tickets and fares in Kent

From Sunday 23 July we’re making important changes to help simplify our tickets and fares.
We’re going to restructure how our fares are calculated and make some changes to the range of tickets available.
We’re also expanding the local travel zones in Kent and removing some restrictions on when you can buy certain tickets.


Yay for the kids!

There will no longer be any restrictions on when child fares can be purchased or used. This applies anytime, anywhere. Single and return fares for children will be set at half the adult fare and will be available at all times of the day. Child dayrider tickets will be replaced with the unrestricted dayrider U19, meaning that children and young people up to the age of 19 will be able to buy discounted dayrider tickets at any time of the day.

If you’re an adult travelling with kids you may also benefit from our new ‘kid for a quid’ ticket – for details see 'Family fun days' below.


Yipee for young people

Family fun days

If you're an adult travelling with kids you’ll be able to buy a new ‘kid for a quid’ add-on ticket for just £1. If you have a dayrider or megarider ticket you can buy the ‘kid for a quid’ ticket on the bus and travel with one kid (aged 5 to 15) for one day. The ‘kid for a quid’ add-on ticket is available anytime, any day.

The adult must travel with the kid(s) at all times.

If you're travelling with more than one kid you can buy up to a maximum of four 'kid for a quid' tickets.

The ‘kid for quid’ replaces the 10p per child add-on ticket that could only be purchased with a South East dayrider and was not available on schooldays. 

Don’t forget, kids under the age of 5 can travel for free!

Yay for the kids

Yipee for young people!

If you’re aged under 19 you’ll be able to buy a new South East dayrider U19. That means you can get one day’s unlimited travel anywhere in the South East for just £4.50

Family fun days

Are you in the zone?

If you’re not, you might be now! We’re expanding all local dayrider travel zones in Kent and, if you live in Thanet, we’re expanding the megarider zone too!

There’s good news for people in and around Ashford  because we’re expanding the dayrider zone to include Hamstreet, Shadoxhurst, Charing and Brabourne.

In the Canterbury  area you’ll now be able to travel to and from Chartham with your dayrider ticket because we’re expanding the dayrider zone to include it.

We will merge the Dover dayrider zone and the Deal dayrider zone to create a single Dover & Deal  dayrider zone that matches the existing megarider zone. This is great news if you travel between the two towns.

The Folkestone  dayrider zone will be expanded to match the megarider zone which means you’ll be able use your dayrider to travel to and from Hawkinge or Hythe. Customers who travel to Folkestone from Etchinghill, Saltwood and Capel-le-Ferne will also benefit from this change.

We’re introducing a new Swale  travel zone which will replace the existing Faversham megarider zone. The Swale zone will include Faversham and Sittingbourne because we plan to extend route 3 up to Sittingbourne later this year – more on this soon. 7 day and 4 week Swale megariders will be available. There will be a Swale dayrider too (adult and U19 versions).

If you travel in Thanet    you’ll now be able to get to Discovery Park with a Thanet local dayrider or megarider ticket. We’re extending the Thanet zone to help people who live in Thanet and work at Discovery Park.

All these changes to zones are for a trial period, but we hope that we’ll be able to make them permanent.

Many happy returns

Return tickets purchased on the bus will now be available to use the next day - good news if you’re staying over. This means your return journey can be made either on the same day the ticket is issued or anytime the next day. This could be useful if you’re a night shift worker and want to return the next morning. 

What’s happening to ticket prices?

OK, so this all sounds great, but what’s happening to ticket prices?

In previous years we’ve adjusted our single and return fares in the early summer and followed-up with changes to period ticket prices in September. This year we’re making changes on one date only – the 23 July.

We’re going to restructure how our single and return fares are calculated. Single fares will be realigned across the region and the equivalent return fare will be set at 1.5 times the single.

This makes everything a lot simpler but will mean that some fares will go up and some will come down. For example, if you currently pay £1.35 for a single your new fare will become £1.60, but if you pay £1.30 for a single, your new fare will become £1.10.

From Tuesday 18 July you’ll be able to check the new fare for your journey using the  online  ticket finder.  (You’ll need to select a travel date that is after the 23 July).

You may find that a dayrider ticket is the cheapest option. If your single or return fare exceeds the price of a dayrider ticket, the ticket finder will present a dayrider as the ‘best value’ option.

Most  dayrider  and  megarider  tickets will increase in price. Here’s a summary of the new prices:

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dayrider ticket new adult price new U19 price new family price
local dayrider £4 £2.70 £8
South East dayrider £6.70 (price frozen) £4.50 (new ticket) £13.40

Kent eveningrider

£5  n/a  n/a 
The new family dayrider prices are based on the price of two adult dayriders. For one adult travelling with kids the new ‘kid for a quid’ add-on ticket may be a cheaper option (see ‘family fun days’ above).

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megarider ticket new price
7 day local megarider £14
7 day South East megarider £23.50
4 week local megarider and  megarider Xtra £53
4 week South East megarider and megarider Xtra £89
Any decision to increase fares is not taken lightly. Like other businesses, we’re operating in a challenging economic environment and face continued rising costs. However, we work very hard to keep fares low for our customers and to ensure that taking the bus remains better value than commuting by car.

We’re constantly investing money in improving our services, such as through new buses and new technology...

No cash? No problem!

All our buses are now equipped with ticket machines that accept contactless payments. Simply hop on board a Stagecoach bus... tap your contactless card, mobile Apple Pay or Android pay and wait for the beep.

Upwardly mobile

You can now buy mobile tickets on the  Stagecoach Bus App  and pay with Paypal or debit/credit card. Mobile dayriders and 7 day megariders are available to buy and instantly activate on the App which is available for free for Apple and Android mobile phones from the App Store or Google Play.

Full details on changes to tickets and fares in East Sussex are available here.