The cost of a short bus journey in Brighton and Hove is to be cut next week – but the cost of some longer journeys and a citySAVER will go up.
The short hop fare, which is currently either £2 or £2.20, will go down to £1.90 for people paying with cash or contactless.
This includes journeys between Brighton Station, Churchill Square, the Clock Tower, North Street, Old Steine and St James’s Street and short journeys outside the city centre, like Mile Oak to Portslade Health Centre and Whitehawk to Lidl.
Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris said: “We’ve brought in cheaper short hop fares in response to feedback from passengers and we’ve done our best to keep other ticket prices frozen or to make only minimal increases to cover the costs of the business.”
Martin said the cleanest, most fuel-efficient buses available that could run in zero-emissions mode in sensitive areas – like city centres – were 50% more expensive than the previous generation of buses.
The sizeable growth in traffic and congestion, particularly in the city centre, had also meant extra cost pressures which had outpaced bus lanes and other bus priority measures.
For example, it takes a route 7 bus 31% longer to get from Hove to Brighton Marina than it did 10 years ago. Maintaining the same high level of frequency on this route alone costs more than £1 million each year for extra buses and drivers. The company runs 24 other bus routes in Brighton & Hove.
Martin said: “We spent £11.5 million in 2019 on ultra-low emissions buses. Much of this went on 30 new extended-range electric buses, which run zero emissions in the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone.
“It’s part of our ongoing commitment to creating a clean air city centre for everyone by 2030 and we won’t shy away from this commitment. We’ll keep refreshing our fleet to the highest environmental standards.”
A citysingle, currently priced at £2.60, will go up to £2.70. A one-day citySAVER ticket bought on the bus will increase by 20p to £5.20, the first increase in four years. Passengers can save money by buying the same ticket on the mobile app or topping up online with a key card for £4.70, saving 50p a day.
Many fares will stay frozen, including the £2.20 cash/contactless Centrefare; cash/contactless networkSAVERs; familySAVERs; and Duo and Quattro tickets for two or four adults travelling together. Return tickets from Lewes, Seaford and Newhaven to Brighton are frozen too, at £5.
Single busID fares stay at 50p for accompanied children and young people and £1 (unaccompanied) when travelling at weekends, holidays or school day evenings.
There’s also an annual child pass available through the company’s partnership with the East Sussex Credit Union, offering a year’s travel in the CitySAVER area for £285.
There will be a small increase of 10p to the on-board fare for longer adult single journeys in the city but passengers can pay less by buying their bus tickets beforehand on the mobile app or key smartcard.
Passengers travelling in the citySAVER area can also buy single journeys in bulk using a Multi Trip ticket on the Key for greater savings, reducing the cost of a journey to between £2.07 and £2.40, depending on the number of journeys bought.
There will be a small increase in the cost of many mobile and key smartcard tickets, for example, the annual citySAVER bought online now costs £1.83 per day at £669, an increase of 9p a day; while the annual networkSAVER bought online now costs £2 per day at £730 or an increase of 10p a day.
Family offers and discounts for carers, students, young people and job seekers and the 4WorkSAVER scheme for new employees remain, and commuters can also get a 20% discount on an annual pass through the East Sussex Credit Union.
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