The Magic Bus fare, which famously costs just £1, will rise to £1.50 — a move that could see Stagecoach priced out of the lucrative student travel market
Stagecoach Manchester have announced a fare increase across their services, including a 50% price rise for the Magic Bus.
The popular bus service, famously priced at £1 for a single journey, will cost £1.50 from April 2nd onwards. Stagecoach also raised their fares last year, but chose to leave the oft-advertised Magic Bus fare at £1. Before 2012, it cost just 70p to ride the Magic Bus.
Other fares will be affected from April. Single adult fares under £2 will be raised by 10p, and single fares over £2 will increase by 20p. The Manchester Dayrider ticket will now cost £4.30, instead of the current fare of £4.00. A Magic Dayrider will rise to £3.60. There will now be a 50p surcharge for buying a StagecoachSmart card on a bus service.
Magic Buses were introduced in 2006 and have become the backbone of the Oxford Road corridor, offering an affordable mode of transport for students. The particular buses used are often older vehicles in Stagecoach’s fleet.
Stagecoach has claimed on their website that they are “reducing the price of our group and plus one tickets.” However, this appears to be inaccurate. The ‘lowered’ prices shown on their site are the same as the current ones. When asked about this discrepancy, Stagecoach claimed this was the result of a “promotional price, which [will] expire on 1st April.”
The company confirmed the news on Twitter. A concerned University of Manchester student tweeted Stagecoach, asking: “wtf [sic]?” She was not the only annoyed Mancunian to tweet their frustration. Twitter user @_oliviaford tweeted: “if magic bus prices going up doesn’t start a proletarian revolution then i don’t know what will [sic]”, while @HazelFenner noted: “this magic bus fare increase is bullshit more like tragic bus am i right [sic].”
The company attempted to justify the increase in their response, saying that “bus industry costs have been rising at [a] higher rate than inflation.”
Full details of the price increases can be found on the Stagecoach website.