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How it works

Every Metrolink stop is in a ticket zone. There are four ticket zones, with zone 1 covering stops in the city centre and zone 4 covering stops furthest away from the city centre.

When you buy a Metrolink ticket you will choose which zone or zones you want the ticket to be valid in. Your ticket will be valid for travel anywhere within your chosen zone(s).

You must have a ticket which is valid for all the zones you travel through. You cannot travel through a zone without a ticket which is valid for that zone.

For example, if you make a journey from Manchester Airport in zone 4, through the city centre in zone 1 and out to Rochdale Town Centre in zone 4, you must have a zones 1+2+3+4 ticket, as your journey travels through all four zones. A zone 4 only ticket would not be valid for this journey.

Stops on the border of two zones

There are 11 stops which are on the border of two zones. These stops are in two fare zones. They are shown on the tram map with the stop name in a white box.

For example, Stretford is on the border of zones 2 and 3, so is in zone 2 and in zone 3. If you travel from Stretford to a stop in zone 2 or 1, you should treat Stretford as a stop in zone 2. If you travel to a stop in zone 3 or 4, you should treat Stretford as a stop in zone 3.

Use our zone finder to find out which zones you travel through.

Add on tickets for journeys outside your zones

If you have a season ticket, and want to make a journey that starts or ends in a zone not covered by your current ticket, you can buy a second ticket for only the additional zone(s) not covered by your current ticket.

For example, if you have a 28-day zone 1+2 paper or app ticket, and on one day want to travel in zones 1, 2 and 3, you can purchase a 1-day zone 3 only ticket for the portion of your journeys not covered by your current ticket. You should present the ticket for the zone you are currently in when inspected.

The best way to do this is to apply for a Bee Card card where you can purchase both your Metrolink season ticket and an additional single or 1-day travelcard, to cover the extra zones you need for the next day.

If you have a weekly season ticket, you may find contactless travel a more flexible option, you don’t need to know how many days you’ll travel when you start the week, or which zones you will be travelling through. We’ll work out the total fares for your day’s journeys for you, up to a daily and weekly cap, making it even easier to get around on Metrolink.

Ticket machines at tram stops only sell tickets which include the zone they are in. If you do not have a Bee Card and have a paper or app season ticket, you may need to get off the tram mid journey to buy your add on ticket from a ticket machine, or touch-in at a card reader on stop if you are using contactless. Just remember to touch-out at the end of your journey.

Ticket prices

The price of your zone based ticket depends on which and how many zones you travel through. View the Metrolink price table.

Bee Card and System One travelcards

All Bee Card and System One:

  • combined tram and bus travelcards
  • combined tram, bus and train travelcards

are valid for all Metrolink zones, except for System One County Cards which are valid for tram travel in zone 1 only.

Bee Card Metrolink only tickets are valid only in your chosen zones.

Train tickets

Train tickets from or to MANCHESTER CTLZ are valid on Metrolink journeys in zone 1.

Combined train and tram tickets bought from a train station ticket office or a ticket vending machine at a train station or Metrolink stop. You will need to type in Metrolink zone(s) instead of a named stop. E.g. a train ticket from Leeds to Media City will become Leeds to Metrolink Zones 1+2.