Yellow buses

Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you learn more about how buses are changing in Greater Manchester:

• From March 24th some buses in Greater Manchester will start to look different and you may see, or travel on, yellow buses.
• The buses are changing colour ahead of services coming back under local control as part of a system called franchising on September 24th. This will be the biggest change to how buses run for around 40 years.
• The first bus routes and services being brought under local control will be in Bolton, Wigan and parts of Bury, Salford and Manchester.
• All the buses in Greater Manchester will be under local control and part of the Bee Network by January 2025.

Some yellow buses are being introduced now so people can get used to the look of the new buses and raise awareness of the Bee Network.

You may see or travel on yellow buses, which will display Bee Network logos and the bus operator’s logo.

Until September 24:
- These buses will be run by the existing commercial operator and will not be under local control.
- The outside of the buses will be yellow, but they will remain the same in all other respects.
- There will be no change to routes, services or frequencies.
- There will be no changes to tickets or fares.
- Buses will not be operated to Bee Network standards.
- You should continue to contact the operator with any customer issues.

Local control under franchising will help us to deliver higher standards for bus services in Greater Manchester.

The benefits include:

  • Local accountability - for customers to provide feedback on services
  • Simpler fares and ticketing – to make journey planning easier
  • A price cap - so no one pays more than they need to
  • Better customer services – to improve their journeys
  • A single look for the whole network – including trams and bikes

Yellow bus stop and shelter signs

From April 2023 your bus stop might start to look a little bit different – with Bee Network signs and shelter displays beginning to appear across the network.

  • We are gradually rolling the new signs and shelters out across the bus network from April 11 as we get ready to ‘Say yellow’ to the Bee Network.
  • We are starting in Wigan and Bolton, as well as parts of Bury, Salford and Manchester.

  • For now there won’t be any major changes to the way things work, – but you might start to see yellow Bee Network signs at your bus stops.
  • You might see a link to a new Bee Network travel information site on some signs. The link will still go to the TfGM website for now. A new website will go live later this year.

  • This is all part of building the Bee Network. The big change won’t take place until September, when buses in some parts of Greater Manchester will come back under local control.
  • You can find out more about the Bee Network here.

  • You should not face any disruption because of this work.

  • For the time-being, you should continue to get in touch with your bus operator in the usual way.
  • We will continue to keep you updated on the changes ahead.