Yellow banner with Bee Network logo

The Bee Network is our bold vision to deliver a joined-up London-style transport system, with buses beginning to be integrated from 2023, trams from 2024 and commuter trains by 2030 - transforming how people travel in and around Greater Manchester.   

The network will be:

  • simple and accessible.
  • easy to understand.
  • great value, with capped daily fares and tickets.

By delivering a joined up public transport system, with local control and accountability at its heart we will deliver a simple, accessible and easy to use transport experience for everyone in Greater Manchester. It will also help us to deliver our ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2038.

Better buses

A key step in delivering the Bee Network will be taking Greater Manchester's buses back into public control. The first services that will come under local control will be in Wigan, Bolton and parts of Salford, Manchester and Bury from 24 September 2023.

All bus services in Greater Manchester will be under local control by January 2025. Phase two will take place in March 2024 and will see services franchised in Oldham, Rochdale, and parts of Bury, Salford and north Manchester.

The third and final phase will be introduced in January 2025 when bus services in Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and the remaining parts of Manchester and Salford come under local control.

Click here to find out what local control of bus services means for Greater Manchester.

World class cycling and walking network

The Bee Network will also include the UK's largest cycling and walking network -- connecting every area and community in Greater Manchester, by creating more than 1,800 miles of routes and 2,400 new crossings.

Click here to see how we're making it easier to walk, cycle or wheel in the city-region.

Improved customer experience

From September, the Bee Network will be supported by a new Bee Network Customer Contact Centre providing a single point of contact for customers travelling in Greater Manchester.

World class safety and customer experience standards will be delivered across bus, tram, rail, taxi and private hire, supported with real time passenger information and audiovisual announcements.

There will also be a Bee Network app which will support customers in making seamless journeys, allowing them to buy bus and tram tickets and access real time information on services – as well as allowing them to rate their service and give feedback to the Bee Network Customer Contact Centre.

A recognisable, relatable brand

There will also be one recognisable look and feel uniting the entire Bee Network and marked with a bee - a long respected regional emblem which will clearly show the joined-up nature of the network and act as a mark of quality and integration.

In Autumn 2021, TfGM carried out the "Destination: Bee Network" public conversation. The conversation saw over 5000 people across Greater Manchester share their thoughts and opinions around the vision for The Bee Network.

People shared their views through an online survey and face to face at our Destination: Bee Network bus as it visited every borough across Greater Manchester. We also held a number of targeted workshops to ensure Greater Manchester's diverse communities had an opportunity to voice their views on the future transport network.

Findings from the public conversation activity included:

  • Key priorities identified for an integrated network were affordability, reliability and accessibility
  • 93% of people who took part in sentiment voting activity at the Destination: Bee Network bus tour events, said integrated ticket would change how they travel in Greater Manchester
  • 63% felt the development of walking and cycling routes will change how they travel
  • 52% were in favour of allowing bikes on trams, 19% neither agreed nor disagreed and 30% disagreed
  • 45% were in favour of allowing pet dogs on trams, 22% neither agreed nor disagreed and 33% disagreed
  • 66% told us real time information would improve their journey
  • The most important features on a Bee Network Bus of the future included: Zero Emissions (56%), CCTV (50%) and Audio-visual announcements (44%)
  • 52% told us that there are journeys they avoid making due to feel unsafe
  • Feedback from targeted engagement workshops highlighted the importance of improving accessibility of the transport network including: use of audio-visual announcements on buses, real time travel information at stations and stops and the need to design streets and infrastructure with a range of people and needs in mind

Public insight and feedback from the Destination: Bee Network public conversation has influenced the development of key work areas to date including:

The feedback from the public conversation will continue to inform future development of the integrated, inclusive transport network for GM.

The Bee Network represents Greater Manchester's vision for an integrated transport system and work is progressing at pace to make it a reality. 

New low bus fares for Greater Manchester, originally planned to be introduced with the first franchised bus services in September 2023, have been introduced 12 months early to help ease the cost-of-living crisis. That means bus passengers now save up to 50% on some journeys, with an adult single bus ticket costing no more than £2 and a child single bus ticket costing no more than £1. All day travel by on any bus costa £5 for an adult and £2.50 for a child.  

The roll out of the cycle hire scheme is well underway and when complete will deliver a fleet of 1,500 bikes including 300 e-bikes in Manchester, Salford and Trafford, giving 198,000 residents access to the scheme within a 5 minute walk. 

We have secured a £1 billion government funding package, supported by £170 million in local contributions, meaning around £1.2billion worth of transport investment in local roads, bus, train and tram services over the next five years, including 50kms of new quality bus corridors, more than 50kms of new cycling and walking routes, 2,000 upgraded bus stops and further improved transport infrastructure and connectivity for towns and high streets across the region. 

Work is also underway to purchase 220 Zero Emission Buses, with fifty new electric buses initially introduced in Wigan and Bolton from September 2023. An additional 170 will then follow on routes to and from the future Stockport bus depot by 2024.  

This all means we are well on our way towards achieving our vision for the Bee Network, but we need your support to get us there - by choosing to use public transport and walking or cycling when you can.