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Public transport in Greater Manchester is regulated and co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the public body responsible for delivering transport policy across the city-region. The Transport for Greater Manchester allows you to plan your journey, see network updates, warns of any delays to services, and alerts you to any planned works that may affect how you travel across Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester’s tram network, called the Metrolink, is the largest tram network in the country and is owned and managed by Transport for Greater Manchester. The network consists of 7 different lines with 93 tram stops and reaches most boroughs of Greater Manchester.
Tickets are based on “Zones” and vary depending on how many zones you will be passing through on your journey. Ticket costs also vary depending on the time of day you travel, costing more during busy periods (known as “Peak” times) and costing less during quieter periods (known as “Off Peak” times). More on the costs of tram tickets can be found on the TfGM website.
You can purchase tickets from machines on the platform of Metrolink stations, on the “get me there” mobile ticket app, or you can use the contactless pay as you go smart devices which requires you to “tap in” and “tap out” on each journey you make by placing your contactless payment card or device on the reader on the platform, and you will be automatically charged the day ticket for the zones you have travelled through. More on ways to pay can be found on the TfGM website.
Buses in Greater Manchester are operated by multiple private bus companies including large companies, such as: First Bus, Stagecoach and Arriva, and smaller companies, such as: Diamond Bus and Go North West. You can read more about bus travel on the TfGM website..
These private bus operators are responsible for deciding routes, setting fares, the frequency of the service and when the service will run. Bus timetables can be accessed on the TfGM website.
There are a number of ways you can pay for bus tickets, including on the bus, on an app, or online. Please check with the bus operator for the best ticket for your journey.
Buses in Greater Manchester will be going through significant changes in the next few years as part of the creation of Greater Manchester’s new public transport system, the Bee Network, you will begin to notice changes to the way buses look and operate from 2023 onwards. More on the upcoming changes to buses can be accessed online.
Greater Manchester is served by a number of different train operators running services to hundreds of destinations across Greater Manchester, the North of England and the entire UK. The principle train operator for Greater Manchester is Northern which runs local train services across the city-region and the wider North of England. Other operators include Avanti West Coast, First Transpennine Express and CrossCountry Trains, all of which run services to cities and towns across the country. More on train services in Greater Manchester including timetables and where to buy tickets can be found on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.
There are many different taxi companies in Greater Manchester from large ride sharing platforms such as Uber, to independent private hire taxi companies in towns across the city-region. You are required by law to pre-book these taxis if you wish to use them.
Greater Manchester is also served by a large number of Hackney Carriages, more famously known as “Black Cabs”, you will see these around the city centre and other busy areas. You are not required to pre-book these vehicles and can get in one that is parked up or can “flag one down” in the street by putting your arm out for it.
Please always ensure the vehicle you are getting in is properly licensed by the local authority you are in. You can check this by looking at the drivers badge which they must wear at all times.