In some cities of the United Kingdom, you can buy tickets to get on a bus or tram along with your journey.
But in most areas of the country, you’ll need to buy an individual ticket for every ride.
If you are touring only one city or town and won’t be travelling again until another day, it might be more economical to purchase a local pass or a combined ticket that includes both the bus and another mode of public transportation.
In general, to use public transport in the United Kingdom, you need to have a personal OYER card that contains your photograph, a minimum balance loaded onto it and enough funds for one ride.
Many buses don’t have any conductors but instead, have automatic ticket machines that allow passengers to pay using cash or credit cards.
Alternatively, if there is no such machine on the bus and you don’t have the necessary change for the fare, you might need to contact the local transit authority in advance.
London Buses and Trams
The London bus system is the oldest in the world, starting in 1895.
There are approximately 8,000 buses in operation, and they almost always have the name and route number clearly posted on the front.
There are about 100 different bus routes that travel throughout the city, and most operate every 10 minutes or less, with some as frequently as every 3 minutes.
You can buy most tickets from the driver, but if you have time, it is more convenient to board at one of the city’s 400 bus stops and buy a ticket there.
You can also buy an Oyster card at one of these locations and add funds to it before you board a bus.
The bus driver will then deduct the cost of the ride from your balance.
To save money on city travel, you can use an Oyster card to pay for single journeys on buses and trams.
This can sometimes be a better deal than a single ticket.
What’s a Weekly Travelcard?
If you plan to take public transit a lot during your visit, you can buy a weekly travel card that allows you to travel for a full week on most of the city’s buses and trams, as well as the underground subway and overground trains.
If you’re going to be in London for a few weeks, it may also be worth your while to purchase an annual travel card.
Edinburgh Buses and Trams
The city of Edinburgh has a bus and tram system that is run by Lothian Buses, and the city’s tram service was established in 2002.
A single ticket for these is £3.50, and a day ticket can be purchased for £9.80.
The city also has a tourist bus that travels to the main tourist sites and can be boarded at various stops around the city.
The cost of this ride is £17 for adults and £12 for children.
Glasgow Buses and Tram
The Glasgow bus and tram system is operated by First Glasgow, and several different ticket types can be purchased.
First Glasgow also runs a tourist bus that can be boarded at various stops around the city.
Tickets for the buses and trams are single-use and are valid for 90 minutes from the time you purchase them.
Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh Weekly Ticket
If you’re visiting Aberdeen, Glasgow or Edinburgh, you can buy a weekly ticket for £20 that allows you to travel on any bus or tram in your chosen city.
The price of these tickets varies depending on your city of residence, but the maximum price is £30.
Manchester Buses, Trams and Metrolink
The Manchester bus and tram system is operated by Transport for Greater Manchester, and several different ticket types can be purchased.
The Metrolink light-rail system is another means of public transportation in the city, and you can purchase a single ticket for £4.20 or a day pass for £9.80.
If you plan to use public transportation while you’re in the United Kingdom, be sure to buy a ticket before you travel.
Inspectors regularly check passengers’ tickets, and you can be fined if you don’t have one.
There are several different ticket types, so be sure you have the right one for your journey.
You can also buy a travel card that can be used for more than one person.
This may be a better option if you’re travelling as a group since it will allow you to pay a single price for all of your rides.