The Oxford Bus Company is freezing fares on its park-&-ride, Airline and X90 routes have been frozen for 2018, as have fares for the Oxford SmartZone weekly tickets and five-day and 12-trip bundles. Passengers travelling by X90 to London can also still take advantage of an offer that enables up to two children to travel free when accompanied with a full fare paying adult.
Although these prices are frozen, those on City and Thames Travel local services will increase by between 10p and 30p from 28 January. However, passengers who sign up to Oxford Bus Company’s new app can access frozen 2017 prices until the end of February. Passengers aged under 18 can also travel anywhere in the city zone for a continued flat fare of £1. A typical Oxford City single ticket will increase from £1.80 to £2 and a return from £2.80 to £3, while an Abingdon-Oxford single will increase from £3.20 to £3.30 and a return by 20p to £5.
Thames Travel’s River Rapids X38, X39 and X40 route prices will increase, as introductory fares for the new services between Oxford and Reading expire. A return ticket between Oxford and Reading will increase by 50p.
Oxford Bus Company managing director Phil Southall says: “We have worked hard to maintain prices on as many services as possible, including some very popular routes. Unfortunately, we have had to increase prices in some areas to ensure we can cope with increasing operating costs. We have experienced higher costs due to the current high level of consumer price inflation, increased congestion in the county alongside significant investment in our fleets, which includes improvements to technology and timetables.”
Fares for four-, 13- and 52-week tickets will increase on 28 January, in line with inflation, by an average of 3%. The changes include a 99p increase for adult four-week passes, a £5.01 increase for 13-week passes and a £29.01 increase for an annual season ticket, which continue to represent significant savings on individual tickets.
In a joint statement, the three Oxford SmartZone operators say: “Over the past year, severe roadworks and increased congestion in the county have impacted upon our services, which has led to an increase in our operating costs. Alongside this all of us have continued to invest significantly in our fleets, resulting in better technology and timetable improvements for our passengers.”