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Changes to Bus tickets from Monday 3 July 2023

Visit the link to our ticket finder to browse the complete range of nbus tickets. 

For many months, Transport for West Midlands has been working with bus operators, local authorities, and community leaders. to make improvements to the bus network in the region.

Previous events and research revealed that customers found purchasing tickets confusing.

Seen as a barrier to understanding and accessing bus travel. It was important to simplify the range on offer.

This work aims to create a better experience for customers and improve the bus network.

Reducing the range of bus tickets allows customers to find and buy the right ticket for their travel.

Now, only nbus products will be available for customers to use for travel on any bus in the region. Creating a better experience for our customers.

Changes to nbus tickets 


What will change for the customer? 

Direct Debit customers:  

  • I use Direct Debit to pay for my ticket, but it does not exist anymore. What do I do? 
    • No need to do anything, we will update your product from our side. 
  • Can I pause my Direct Debit payments until I decide to agree to the increased cost?
  • I do not pay by Direct Debit, am I affected by changes?
    • View ticket range changes before you travel as all tickets may have changed. 

Tickets removed from sale and due to expire after 3rd July 2023: 

  • I currently have a ticket that is valid to use after 3rd July. What do I need to do? 
    • Nothing will change until you buy a new ticket. You will then have to buy a brand-new ticket from the remaining list. 
  • I have not travelled for a while and my usual ticket does not exist anymore. What do I do?
    • If you have not travelled for a while you can choose from the new list of available products. 
  • I brought an Area-specific ticket (low-fare zone ticket), before 3rd July and my ticket is still valid will these be removed and when?
    • These tickets for the Black Country, Coventry, Sandwell & Dudley, and Walsall will no longer be available to purchase from 3rd July 2023.
    • Although low-fare zone ticketing will be removed under these changes, customers can beat the day ticket fare rise by using Swift Go and getting a reduction from £4.50 to £4. 
  • If I purchase a 4-week ticket, that expires after 3rd July, will I be sent a new card?
    • When your ticket expires, you will be given the option to select a ticket from the new product range, available from 3rd July. 

Other ticket questions:  

  • My current ticket allows me to travel outside of the nbus travel area. Is this still available to buy?
  • What is the cheapest option for regular travel?
    • If you are travelling for less than 3 days a week Swift Go is the best option for you.
    • If you are travelling for more than 3 days Direct Debit is the best option for you. You can use our ticket finder to find the best right ticket for you. 
  • I have been told I can use my ticket on different bus operators, will I use it the same way as on National Express buses?
    • If you have an existing ticket yes.
    • However, if you use a contactless bank card regularly to pay then no, Swift Go may be the best option for you to get the best value for multi-operator travel.  
  • My Swift card is not registered with an account, how will I be affected?
    • Your ticket/product will continue to be accepted until the expiry date.
    • When you buy a new ticket after the expiry date you will continue to travel as normal. 
  • Will I be contacted about these changes?
    • Our website is the best place to be informed of any changes. You can also sign up to our email mailing list to be informed of any future ticket changes and stay up to date with news from Transport for West Midlands. 
  • Can I claim a refund if I have a ticket, and it no longer works from 3rd July?
    • Your ticket will still be accepted, if you purchased a ticket before 3rd July please continue to travel as normal. Changes will only apply to tickets purchased after 3rd July; we encourage customers to check ticket availability before travelling. 
  • Why are tickets going up in price?
    • During the Covid-19 pandemic, bus operators experienced a dramatic drop in customer travel. This has since caused several bus routes to be removed and some bus operators to go out of business.
    • Whilst operators have made the difficult decision to increase some fares which will come into effect from 3rd July, the West Midlands has managed to retain many of its bus routes.
    • This is the first price rise since 2017 for many fares. The price rises are needed to protect the bus network - the services that customers use every day - in the face of rising costs. Direct debit will remain the most cost-effective way for customers to travel, with a monthly regional price of £55.
    • The fare for a National Express West Midlands all-day ticket is going up 50p from £4 to £4.50 from 3rd July 2023, Bus fares in the West Midlands will also remain among the very lowest in the UK (United Kingdom) and will be cheaper than what they were in 2017.  
  • Why are some tickets being removed?
    • Customer research has shown that the bus ticket structure is too complicated. This makes it difficult for customers to find the right ticket for their travel. There is now a focus on the simplification of tickets and using nbus as the only ticket for travel on any bus within the region.  
  • Are all bus operators removing tickets?
    • All longer-term operator-only tickets will be removed from sale. This leaves nbus tickets as the tickets provided for customers who want day, weekly, 4-week, Direct Debit, or seasonal tickets.
    • Operator-only, Single and return tickets will be available for purchase on board or via their specific mobile apps.
    • Contactless capping will remain for those operators who have it. However, you will not benefit from a multi-operator cap as you would while using Swift Go.