A cartoon graphic of some using a contactless card on Metrolink

Mayor announces Metrolink early bird offer

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has announced the launch of the ‘contactless early bird bonus’ from this Monday (17 February) to help Metrolink commuters beat the morning rush.

Representing a commitment by the Mayor to give customers even better value for money and to help ease congestion, the ‘contactless early bird bonus’ will offer savings on the anytime travelcard price to people travelling before 7am on weekdays.

Offering commuters easier and cheaper access to public transport is a key part of the Mayor’s ten-year vision for delivering an integrated transport network, Our Network.

An ‘early bird’ offer was originally piloted in 2018 by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) as part of the Mayor’s Congestion Deal and encouraged people to try to change their travel behaviour to reduce congestion across the city-region.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “I’m delighted to see TfGM introduce this new contactless version of ‘early bird’ for tram customers – not only does it make it easier for people to travel by public transport and beat the traffic, it also helps them save some money too.

“Hopefully the offer will tempt more people to try Metrolink instead of jumping in the car in the morning. Congestion is a big problem across Greater Manchester and it’s one that’s exacerbated during the morning peak when everyone is commuting at the same time.

“We all have a role to play if we’re to tackle congestion but by encouraging people out of their cars and onto Metrolink, one of the greenest forms of transport, we’re also tackling air pollution as well.”

As set out in the Mayor’s Congestion Deal, employers are also encouraged to offer more flexible start and finish times for their workforce to encourage people to travel outside of the traditional peak times, when congestion and crowding on our roads and public transport network is most likely.

TfGM’s Customer Director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “We’re always looking at ways to give customers value for money, so introducing a new ‘contactless early bird’ offer was an easy decision to make.

“The ‘contactless early bird bonus’ offers Metrolink customers the lower off-peak daily cap when travelling before 7am, helping to spread out passenger journeys and reduce tram overcrowding at peak times, as well as aiming to tackle congestion on our region’s roads. 

The contactless early bird bonus is available to customers paying for their travel by contactless. To benefit, customers simply touch-in at the smart reader at the start of their journey before 7am. They should then touch out at the end of their journey as usual – this can be after 7am.

As long the customer’s other journeys that day are not started between 7am and 9:30am, they will be eligible for a 1-day travelcard capped at the off-peak rate. For example, an off-peak 1-day travelcard for all zones will be capped at £4.90 – this gives a saving of £2.20 off the anytime peak cap price of £7.10.

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055


Notes to editors

Off-peak hours are Monday to Friday, from 9:30am to end of service, weekends and public holidays.