Pension-age travel-pass holders wishing to use Metrolink and rail services across Greater Manchester must have the new tram and train ‘add-on’ from tomorrow - Saturday 1 February.
The change to travel arrangements for older people, means concessionary pass holders will need to add tram and train services to their travel pass, costing £10 – that will provide unlimited off-peak tram and train travel across Greater Manchester for 12 months.
The change does not affect bus travel, which remains free under the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS). In addition, anyone with a disability who has a concessionary travel pass from TfGM will not be affected by the change.
Stephen Rhodes, Customer Director at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “We do appreciate that this is a change for people and bringing in a new charge is never an easy decision, but this modest fee to access transport services will help to make sure customers can benefit from discounted travel schemes for years to come.
“For £10 a year, customers will get unlimited off-peak travel on trams and trains right across Greater Manchester – which is great value for money, at around 19p per week.
"The number of people eligible for a pension-age concessionary travel passes is set to rise by 44% by 2028. This modest annual charge will help to make sure that the concessionary travel scheme is sustainable long term. It will also generate money we can invest back into public transport.
"We’re running a widespread campaign about the introduction of the £10 charge to ensure as many people as possible are informed, but if you know someone of pension-age, please check they know about this change.”
The change to pension-age concessionary travel was announced by Mayor Andy Burnham in July last year and approved by the region’s leaders at a meeting of the GMCA.
TfGM runs several different schemes that offer free or discounted travel on buses, trams and trains. Most of these require a payment of £10 for the pass. The introduction of the charge for pension-age travel-pass holders brings it in line with the other schemes and makes it fair across the generations. The change also brings Greater Manchester in line with other city-regions that offer similar concessionary travel schemes, such as Nexus in the North East.
For anyone wishing to make the change and add tram and train travel, there are a number of quick and easy ways to do so:
- In person at any TfGM Travelshop
- At any PayPoint store in Greater Manchester
- Online at getmethere.com
Once customers add tram and train to their pass, they will be able to travel on Metrolink and trains within Greater Manchester from 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day on weekends and public holidays.
Sean Dyball, Head of Customer Engagement at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “We’ve had an excellent response from customers so far – with more than 90,000 people making the change and adding tram and train.
“Mostly that’s been through our Travelshops, but we’ve now introduced PayPoint sales too, so it’s even easier for people to add tram and train to their pass. For anyone who wants to make the change but might be unsure of the process our Customer Services team are on hand to help.“
If a customer does not intend to travel on Metrolink or local trains, and to just use bus services, they don’t need to pay £10. If they are an occasional user, there’s no need to pay £10 to add tram and train immediately – they can add it to their pass any time before they travel, it’ll be valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
To find out more please visit the TfGM website: tfgm.com/add-tram-and-train or call the Customer Service team on 0300 323 8346.