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Doing Buses Differently

Buses are vital for Greater Manchester. They’re used for three-out-of-four public transport journeys and thousands of us depend on them to get to work, the shops or services like our local GP.

Buses also help reduce the number of cars on our roads, this means less congestion and less pollution.

But bus use is falling.

Currently in Greater Manchester, individual bus companies decide their own routes, timetables, tickets and standards. In areas they don’t run, the public sector pays to fill in the gaps in the market where it can.

It’s hard to make our buses work together, or with other kinds of public transport, and the fares and tickets available can be confusing.

Buses can be improved and Greater Manchester now has a chance to do buses differently.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority are proposing a franchising scheme for the whole of Greater Manchester.

This would mean that bus services would be under Greater Manchester’s control and they would decide which services would be provided - like the way buses are run in London and some other major cities around the world. GMCA would set the routes, timetables, tickets and standards, while the bus operators would run the services.
This would allow buses to work better with the rest of our public transport – as part of Our Network – Greater Manchester’s vision for a joined-up transport system.

A consultation on the proposed franchising scheme was held between Monday 14 October 2019 and Wednesday 8 January 2020. You can read the consultation documents on GMCA’s website.

The responses to the consultation are now being analysed by an independent market research agency. GMCA will then publish a report on the consultation responses before the Mayor of Greater Manchester decides whether or not to implement the proposed franchising scheme.