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School bus services

Around 80 per cent of Greater Manchester’s bus services in Greater are run by commercial operators, who decide routes, timetables and set fare levels.

TfGM financially supports the remaining 20 per cent – which run at times of day and in areas where there is a social need – including school services.

Most are ordinary bus routes open to the general public and, as such, primary school children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We also run a fleet of 50 hybrid-electric Yellow School Buses (YSB), which are not open to the general public and pick-up and drop-off children close to home, in a safe place to wait and board.

To use a Yellow School Bus service, children must have a valid YSB pass, which will need to be renewed each year. Children under the age of seven must be accompanied by an adult.

Yellow School Bus Applications

Updated: Thursday 11 June

Please note that in light of the current Covid-19 situation and the social distancing measures that have been put into place on public transport, TfGM are currently reviewing how the scheme will operate for the 2020/21 academic year. As such no applications are being taken at this time.

Further updates will be sent to individual schools which will be passed onto you when they become available. When we are in a position to accept applications they will be individually assessed and will NOT be processed on a first-come first-served basis. You may also check our website for any updates.

Do you qualify?

School bus services help pupils aged 11 to 16 get to and from some Greater Manchester secondary schools.

Only Yellow School buses are reserved just for school pupils: anyone can use normal school buses, so you're not guaranteed a seat.

Applicants should note TfGM are only able to issue a limited number of passes for each bus, if applicants do not use the pass they could be preventing other pupils from using the service. Should they no longer wish to use the service can they return the pass to TfGM so we can issue another pass.

Find out more about Yellow School Bus services

The costs and the benefits

From September 2019, fares on TfGM funded school buses are as follows:

For children aged 11-16 with igo passes and primary school children:

  • Single ticket £1.40
  • Return ticket £2.40*
  • TfGM school weekly ticket £7.40*- This ticket is ONLY valid on schooldays on school buses. It is a paper only ticket that is only available to purchase on the bus or via a paypoint outlet. It cannot be loaded onto an IGO card.

Children aged 11-16 who do not have an igo pass will be charged a single fare of £1.80 and will not be able to buy returns or weekly tickets.

Students with a scholar’s permit can also buy the £1.40 single ticket (not returns or school weekly tickets)

*TfGM returns and weekly tickets are valid on the majority of school buses with the following exceptions

School bus timetables


Please see below for timetables for the 2019/2020 school year:

Bolton schools
Bury schools
Manchester schools
Oldham schools
Rochdale schools
Salford schools
Stockport schools
Tameside schools
Trafford schools
Wigan schools

Buy your ticket

Buy your single, return or weekly ticket from the driver when you get on the bus.

Weekly tickets are also available to purchase at TfGM Travelshops and PayPoint outlets.

You should show your igo card to buy a ticket, and must carry the igo with you when you travel.

Find a Travelshop

Find a PayPoint location

If you lose your ticket

Sorry, there are no refunds; you have to buy another ticket.

If you leave something on the bus

The contact details for the company operating the service are shown in the School Bus timetables.

Capacity and standing

Buses are legally certified to carry a specified number of seated and standing passengers. The capacity and maximum number of standing passengers is displayed on all vehicles.


Your Bus

In 2018, we donated a previously decommissioned yellow school bus to Greswell Primary School in Denton.

This year we opened up an opportunity for community interest groups or schools to apply for the opportunity to be gifted one of 6 Yellow School buses. Applications for this have now closed.

To see what Greswell Primary School did with their bus and for details of the winners when availble, click the link below.