Bus Reform in Greater Manchester

Our vision for an integrated transport system

Greater Manchester is on a journey.

A journey to deliver a London-style transport system which includes our buses and trams by 2025 and our commuter trains by 2030.

A journey to a network which is simple and easy to use, which supports seamless end to end journeys by foot, bike and public transport with London-level fares, a daily cap and single ticket, no matter how many times or how the journey is made.

A journey to a system which is accessible to all, owned by, run for and accountable to Greater Manchester, with audio visual announcements on all services, real-time information, level access at stops, stations and interchanges, all under a single identifiable and respected brand.

A journey which connects our people, our neighbourhoods, our towns and cities and which helps people to travel sustainably to home, to school, to work and the many leisure and cultural destinations GM has to offer.

A journey to improve our health, our air quality and to help us achieve our commitment for GM to be net zero by 2038, one which offers an attractive alternative to the car with an ambition for a fully electric system by the end of the decade.

Why buses are at the heart of this system

Buses are absolutely central to this journey towards the integrated, seamless Bee Network – and the decision to franchise them marks the biggest change to public transport in GM in over 30 years. In March 2021, the Mayor decided to franchise Greater Manchester’s buses, making Greater Manchester the first city region outside London to use powers conferred by the Bus Services Act.

Buses are a critical part of the Bee Network and make up three quarters of all public transport journeys. Our vision is for a bus system that is fully integrated with our Metrolink and rail services, connecting our communities with fast, high quality, connections that are fully accessible to all. Our vision is also for a cleaner, greener bus network, with an ambition to replace 50% of the current fleet with new, zero-emission electric vehicles, equipped with high quality passenger information and audio-visual announcements by 2027.  

Bus franchising unlocks our ability to connect communities with essential services, jobs, homes and opportunities.  We have already seen how buses can unlock communities through the success of the Our Pass scheme. This game-changing initiative has opened up GM for our young people – with more than 14.5 million journeys on buses since it launched and around 45,000 current members.

The design and delivery of an integrated public transport system – the Bee Network – with local control and accountability, supported by investment in our infrastructure and services – will also enable Greater Manchester to make a vital contribution to the national challenges of decarbonisation and ‘levelling up’, while also ensuring a more efficient and resilient city region economy that creates opportunities for all of our residents.

Bus franchising also supports and links to other key programmes of activity being carried out by TFGM, including the Clean Air Plan and the Active Travel programme. It will also need to support the wider recovery of the public transport network from Covid-19; including the required negotiations with government over sustainable funding for infrastructure and services.

The bus reform journey

Overall, the implementation of bus franchising in Greater Manchester is a programme of significant size, change and complexity, being the first programme to re-regulate a bus network of this scale globally. It involves a transitional phase, during which, and before it is completed, part of Greater Manchester’s bus network will be franchised and part de-regulated. 

It is a complex and multi-faceted programme with a number of risks and dependencies and a wide range of stakeholders who will be directly impacted including bus passengers in Greater Manchester and the bus operator market.  However, there are also significant opportunities for improving the lives of people across Greater Manchester by providing them with a seamless and integrated public transport network.

You have the chance to be part of this exciting journey and we want to work with people who are passionate about creating a seamless public transport and passionate about Greater Manchester’s ambitions; as we become the first city region in the UK outside London to deliver an integrated transport system which puts the needs of our residents, visitors and businesses at its heart.

Buses will be at the core of this integrated network; improving access to jobs, education and training; unlocking communities and enabling regeneration and development; improving health and wellbeing and making a significant contribution to clean air and decarbonisation.

More Information


Closing dateContact us
Technical (First) Interview18 or 19 March (Manchester)
Assessment session and Final Panel interview. w/c 8 April (Manchester)

stephen cooley Portrait

Stephen Cooley

tel: 07747 698829
email: stephen.cooley@proventureconsulting.co.uk

Mark Tobin portrait

Mark Tobin

tel: 07717 725 844
email: mark.tobin@proventureconsulting.co.uk