Major changes to bus fare prices and ticket availability came into effect from this morning (Monday 3rd July).
I’ve seen a few comments elsewhere so wanted to take the opportunity to just clarify a couple of points that may not have been made clear in previous communications from TfWM and bus operators, and which may have caused some confusion for passengers travelling from today.
Operator-only tickets/passes bought before 3rd July 2023
If you bought an operator-only ticket/pass before 3rd July, then it will only valid on that operator’s services, until it expires. At which point when you renew it, you’ll only be offered the nBus equivalent, which will then be valid on all operators’ services.
For example, if you bought an NX week Faresaver on Thursday last week, you can only use it on NX buses, it is not valid on Diamond, Stagecoach or any other operator’s service.
Likewise if you bought a monthly Diamond Bus West Midlands zone pass, it will only be valid on Diamond Bus services until it expires.
Existing single-operator tickets/passes did not automatically become nBus tickets as of this morning.
From today, any new day/week/month tickets and passes purchased and issued will of course be multi-operator nBus ones.
This was clarified by Diamond on their own website (with my emphasis in bold):
Other operators existing own tickets will continue to be valid on their own services only until the expiry date. The good news is, that from your next purchase all operators tickets will also be replaced by nBus tickets.
Any nBus tickets purchased via National Express buses and the NX app will continue to be accepted on our services as normal. Some National Express DD products which are loaded onto Swift Cards will be accepted during the transition period, our ticket machines will be altered to accept scanning of these products.“Changes to tickets and fares in the West Midlands Region” – Diamond Bus, 21st June 2023
Direct Debit Passes/Tickets
NX Bus direct debit tickets do not have an expiry date so as noted in the quote from Diamond Bus above, these will be treated differently, and I imagine the same will also apply to other bus operators who use the same Ticketer equipment.
I am just speculating here but I would guess that within the next few weeks, the product loaded onto customers’ direct debit Swift cards will be replaced with the nBus equivalent, depending on your monthly billing date.
In the meantime, as long as the operator’s ticketing equipment has been updated, NX direct debit passes should be accepted on other operator’s buses as the nBus equivalent in the short-term.
I’ve not had the opportunity to try and verify this for myself yet, but I’d be interested in hearing the experiences of others.