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Doing Buses Differently

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.

GMCA were updated on the consultation on a proposed bus franchising scheme at its meeting on Friday 26 June. You can read the outcome reports on the consultation online here.

In total 8,516 people and organisations, including campaign response, across Greater Manchester and beyond took part in the public consultation on the proposed franchising scheme that ran from 14 October 2019 to 8 January 2020.TfGM and independent research agency Ipsos MORI have reviewed, analysed and summarised all responses to the consultation in two reports. Ipsos MORI have which also analysed the responses of focus groups of public transport users, non-users, residents and businesses.

The consultation was monitored by the Consultation Institute, who determined it had met the statutory requirements for best practice. This is the Consultation Institute's highest level of accreditation and means that every area of the consultation was delivered to a high standard.

Due to the widespread impact of Covid-19 on the bus market, further detailed work will now be done on the impact the pandemic will have on the future bus market, the work undertaken in the assessment and the outcome of the consultation. At a later date, a further report will be submitted to GMCA that will consider these impacts and set out the next steps in the bus reform process.