Bus passengers using a new free travel scheme in Swansea can make their journey run smoothly by planning ahead.
From Friday July 30, all bus travel in the city will be free to use thanks to financial support from Swansea Council, which has organised the free bus deal with local bus operators.
The Council is funding the initiative to support families and boost retail, leisure and tourism as communities emerge from lockdown.
It will also help reduce emissions and congestion by encouraging people onto buses rather than using their car every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between now and August 30.
Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: “The feedback we’ve had so far has been really positive, everyone’s getting on board with the spirit of the initiative.
“There’s no doubt the free bus offer is going to be massively popular so we’re urging people to make sure they plan their trips ahead, especially the journey home.”
He said: “The offer is straightforward to use and enjoy. Any bus journey you make that starts in Swansea and finishes in Swansea will be free. You don’t need a bus pass and you won’t need a ticket for those journeys. This means families could save around £50 over a four day period.”
“The best advice we can give is that you plan ahead and make sure that includes the journey home as well, especially if it’s towards the end of the day on busy routes.”
The initiative will run from July 30 to August 30 and is part of the Council’s £20m Recovery Plan, aimed at supporting families and boosting the local economy following the pandemic. The free travel offer also includes a special Sunday service to and from Gower which the Council recently announced.
The Council is working with the city’s bus operators to ensure passengers can travel safely and that all necessary Covid precautions are put in place.
Passengers can also use the free service late into the evening in a bid to support the city’s night time economy.
Who can use it?
We all can. If you’re travelling for work in Swansea or to enjoy a day out in the city centre or at one of our brilliant beaches, the service is free. You do not need to show proof that you live in Swansea to receive free travel.
What bus services are included in the offer?
Bus services operated by First Cymru, Adventure Travel, South Wales Transport, DANSA, Briggs and Stagecoach are included. The only services that are not included are:
- First Cymru’s X10 between Swansea and Cardiff
- longer-distance coach services operated by National Express, Megabus and Flixbus
- First Cymru’s Services 9A and 34 to and from the Park & Ride car parks.
If I get on a bus that’s going to a place outside the area, will I be charged even if I’m getting off in Swansea?
No. You just state your Swansea destination and take your seat.
If I’m going outside the area will I be charged the whole journey or just for the part that isn’t in Swansea?
If you are heading to a destination outside the Swansea area you have to pay for the whole trip. Please let the driver know when you get on board the bus. The cheapest option is normally a day ticket.
I want to go to the Bay Campus from Swansea Bus Station, for example. Will I be charged the whole journey or just for the part that’s in Neath?
You will be charged the whole fare. Our offer is only for a journey that is completely inside the Swansea area. If you are heading outside Swansea, you have to tell the driver your destination and pay the appropriate full fare.
Does this apply to Park and Ride?
No, but there are other offers available if you wish to use the park and ride services.
Are any of the bus services changing?
No. All the usual services are operating at their usual time. The only difference is that you can travel for free.
Who is paying for the free service?
It’s being paid for by the Council because we want to encourage people to use our local bus services now that the pandemic restrictions are easing. You will still need to wear a mask on the bus, in line with Welsh Government guidance, to keep you, the driver and fellow-travellers safe.
What if I have a season ticket?
You won’t need to show it while the offer is on. But there won’t be any refunds or extension of your season ticket.
I already have a free concessionary bus pass – how does this affect me?
People who hold an All Wales Concessionary Travel Pass, may continue to travel free of charge and passes should be shown as normal to the driver when boarding the bus.
Do I just have to get on the bus? Do I have to state my destination or get a ticket from the driver?
If the bus is operating wholly within Swansea all you need to do is get on board and enjoy the ride. If you’re getting on a bus that’s travelling outside Swansea please let your driver know so you can pay the appropriate fare. Unfortunately the offer applies only to those journeys which start and finish in Swansea.
Will all bus operators operate the same way?
Yes. It’ll be exactly the same whichever bus company you’re riding with.
What Covid-19 safe measures are being taken?
At the moment you must wear a mask on the bus. Also bus services are not currently allowed to carry standing passengers and people are allowed to sit only on forward-facing seats. This may have an effect on the number of passengers allowed per bus, so please plan ahead for your journey.