Stagecoach East Scotland has confirmed that the cost of travel will increase from Sunday, May 8.
The new ticket prices will add on average 4.8% to the cost of bus travel, which the company has said reflects the rising costs of running services. Since 2019, costs across the bus industry have risen by around 12%, mainly driven by fuel and staff wage increases. Stagecoach has also pointed out, meanwhile, that the increases are below the annual rate of inflation of 9%.
Last year fares and tickets were simplified to make them more consistent and easier to understand. The new ticket options meant that many single fares reduced in price and it created new multi- journey zones and tickets offering more flexible travel options such as a new Flexi 5 ticket, offering a saving of 20%.
On average, most ticket types were reduced in price, with the regional East Scotland DayRider ticket down from £14 down to £9.
Almost all the money received in fares goes towards paying for the day-to-day running of services as well as investing in improvements. The amount of money bus operators receive in fares to keep services running remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels.
Last year, the operator announced that it was introducing a further 46 fully electric buses representing an investment of £21.4m across Scotland as part of its drive to improve air quality and support the Scottish Government’s environmental targets.
Douglas Robertson, Stagecoach East Scotland managing director, said: “Stagecoach has consistently delivered some of the lowest ticket prices in the country and we are committed to continuing to keep fares as low as possible for our passengers.
“Like many sectors, bus operators are seeing significant cost inflation, primarily driven by increased fuel and staffing costs. As well as paying for the running of the country’s vital bus networks, ticket costs help us to continue investing in improvements, and pay for bus workers who have worked hard to keep communities connected and services running during the pandemic.”
Further information can be found at www.stagecoachbus.com.
The fare change affects the majority of tickets across Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perthshire, representing an average of 4.8% increase on single and multi-journey tickets.
However, nightrider tickets, valid for unlimited travel after 7pm, are frozen at £3.
All under 19 tickets and weekly child MegaRider tickets will also be withdrawn from this date due to customers aged between 5-21 and residents in Scotland, being eligible for free travel. More details on how to apply for free travel can be found at www.getyournec.scot.
Stagecoach is making significant investment in improvements for customers, and investing in new greener vehicles as part of its sustainability strategy. Key improvements include:
Launch of a new dedicated customer contact centre providing customers with an easily accessible one-stop contact point for getting help with any queries about their bus service.
As part of the customer transformation strategy, Stagecoach is making major investment in a new customer relationship management system to help provide tailored support, better understand customers’ end-to-end journeys, and quickly address any emerging common issues.
Investment in greener vehicles, including electric buses, as part of an overall target for a zero emissions UK bus fleet by 2035.
Investment in new technology to help provide improved timetables and more reliable services.