The first major fares change for almost two years is announced today by Reading Buses. At the same time, the bus operator is introducing a new mobile ticketing app.
Reading Buses say they have held the majority of their prices since before October 2014 with only minor changes to individual tickets and products since that time.
This has included the recent ‘fares freeze’ promotion which the company say saw reductions in the price of their simplyNetwork products.
The launch of the new Reading Buses app means customers will be able to purchase tickets in advance on their smartphones. They will no longer need the exact fare when boarding as their ticket will be ready on their phone to be scanned by the ticket machine.
To mark the introduction of the new app, the company announce that they will be holding the single fares and offering a special discount on 7 day fares on mticketing at the pre-September prices.
These are £1.90 for adults and £1.40 for under-19s for single journeys with the discounted price on the 7 days tickets at £15 and £11 respectively.
“A lot of the changes we are implementing are due to us looking to simplify our offering,” says Andy Phillips, Head of Commercial for Reading Buses. “We are hoping this will allow people to see the best option to save money on their travel.
“We are also really excited about the launch of our app and hope that lots of people take advantage of it – and the special introductory fares on it.
“The on-bus fares are changing in the simplyReading area with the adult single becoming £2 and the adult return being replaced by a £4 all day ticket, dropping to £3 when bought after 6.00pm.
“The 7 day fare will change to £17 if bought on-bus.
“The ‘4 go-together’ group ticket within the simplyReading area will increase to £9.00 and will drop to £6.00 when bought after 6.00pm Monday- Friday or all day at weekends, school and public holidays.
“Our current Solo ticket range will change its name to boost and is now available to those aged up to 21 on production of a valid local college or University ID card. The single fares for this age group will change to £1.50 for a single and £2.50 for a day ticket.
All short-hop fares will increase by 10p to £1.30 including the single fare on bronze 11 – although Reading Buses say the £1 fare on the Lower Caversham Shuttle will remain. The adult single fare on the emerald services is changing to £1.70.”
After customer and stakeholder feedback, Reading Buses will be introducing a new 60 minute transfer ticket in the simplyReading area allowing customers to use multiple buses within an hour of buying the ticket. They say that this will be priced at £2.50 for adults and £2 for boost customers.
There will be changes to online fares, including some reductions, such as the simplyNetwork 7 day reduced to £19.50. The simplyReading 7 day fare, increases to £15 from £14.50.
The company will also be holding the prices of their boostsaver -formerly solosaver – and easysaver cards at £12 and £16 online, but will be withdrawing the opensaver variant due to low usage.
The unisaver 10 will also be withdrawn. Students aged 19-21 in full-time education will be eligible to use boostsaver and those over that age qualifying for what they describe as ‘the now even better value easysaver 10.’
Reading Buses has also simplified fares on their out of town routes. The individual jet black, lime, leopard and pink 25 7 day tickets will all be replaced by the simplyNetwork 7 day.
They say that this will see a further reduction to £21 on bus and £19.50 online – to match what would have been the price for these tickets had they continued.
The group tickets on these services will be similarly replaced with the simplyNetwork group ticket, valid for up to four people travelling together, priced at £15 when bought before 9.30am Monday to Friday or £10 at other times, including all day during weekends and school holidays.
Reading Buses advise customers to visit www.Reading-buses.co.uk for full details.