The Transport Action Group (TAG) is a project of the Environment Network hosted with MERCi. It was established to provide a community engagement function into the transport element of the Manchester (Local Strategic) Partnership as part of the Community Network for Manchester. Participation with TAG is open to groups and organisations in Manchester that have an interest, or an issue in relation to transport. Information sharing is a large part of what TAG does, and there is a lot of information available to help you make travel choices. The GMPTE website is a good place to start, it has a lot of useful public transport information, neatly organised and easily navigable. For example you can plan a journey using the journey planner
You can find, view and download a timetable for a specific bus service, and/or find the latest information on service changes on the GMPTE website.
This is one of my personal favourites. With Bus stop finder you can find the nearest bus stop to where you are, or where you are going based on a postcode. If you adjust the search distance you may find a more frequent service that goes near to where you are going. As long as you have a postcode you can find out which bus will get you there! The public transport network in Manchester is extensive and covers a wide area, exactly where you can get to by bus, tram or train is shown on various maps, which you can view or download including:
There are also maps of the Bolton and Stockport free shuttle buses, Metrolink expansion, and more. See the maps section on the GMPTE website for them all. So now you have some information on what is available, and where you can get to I will move on to how you pay for it. The fares structure in Manchester is a tad complicated, especially on the bus, due to the large number of operators running services. Paying for multiple journeys in advance offers the best savings, the longer in advance the more you save e.g. a day, week, month or even a year. Unlike London, Manchester does not have a smart card ticket system like the Oyster card (yet) that makes travelling easier and ensures that you get the best price per journey automatically. Manchester does have a multi operator and multi mode ticket though. This means that you can travel on any operator's buses, and even use the tram and/or train on the same ticket. This is called System One travel card. While this is more expensive than a single operator ticket it does mean that you can travel anywhere in Greater Manchester, on any bus on the one ticket. GMPTE offers some advice and information about ticketing. While public transport is more sustainable than the private car it is not the most sustainable mode. By far the most sustainable mode of transport is walking, closely followed by cycling. Not all journeys are walkable, however have you considered how many could be, or have you considered walking as part of the journey? The average person could walk a mile in about 20 minutes and a four to five mile journey could be cycled in about half an hour. Apart from the emissions saved using these modes there are huge benefits in health and well being. There are also websites dedicated to these modes. Walk It is a site that concentrates on walking routes in built up areas, Manchester is on Walk it, so if you fancy a walk have a look. It will try and find the best route based on criteria you provide, so if you choose quietest it may not be the quickest, and vice versa. Used in combination with the bus stop finder above you can have a nice stroll before, or after your bus journey (weather permitting). This is the route I took to get to this event. It took me slightly longer than the medium time suggested (about 25 mins, I did not count the steps).
There are a couple of useful sites related to cycling. Cycle Greater Manchester has a range of tips, advice and information about how to cycle around Manchester, including maps. If the cost of the equipment puts you off you may be able to get an incentive. The Government introduced a scheme which allows employees to purchase cycle and equipment and have the cost taken directly from their salary, before tax and national insurance is calculated. This means that you could make a saving of about 40% to 50% against the cost of buying the equipment outright. Have a look on the Department for Transport website for more information on the cycle to work scheme. For a more interactive experience try the Love Your Bike website. This site has a map that shows routes submitted by regular cyclists themselves. It indicates good and bad aspects and offer you the chance to plot your own route. Comments by other users/cyclists may help you choose which route to take, or avoid.
Cycle Streets is also worth a visit and covers cycle routes on a national level. I hope you found something of interest or use in this document. TAG produces regular e-bulletins to share transport related news and information, we also gather input to include in transport related consultations and offer help and advice on a range of transport related topics. Visit the TAG website or Facebook group to get an idea of what is shared and what we do. Or get in touch by: email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 0161 273 1736 or by post to: Bill Harrop Transport Strategic Engagement Worker Bridge 5 Mill 22a Beswick Street Ancoats Manchester, M4 7HR