Cheap Bus Travel for Students
When most students go to University bus travel is essential. It can depend on which University you attend or how far away you live from University but there are lots of ways to save money on bus travel for students.
This list is here to help you make maximum savings on your yearly bus travel including a yearly Unirider bus pass.
#1 Student Bus Travel Money Saving Tip
Buy a yearly student bus ticket
Without doubt the best way to save money if you plan to travel on the bus more than about 4 times a week is by buying a student yearly bus pass (available in a number of cities). You can get a Manchester Unirider yearly student bus pass for example or even a yearly bus pass in Glasgow.
More Bus Travel Saving Tips
Work out how much you will use the bus
To work out how to save money on the bus as a student you will need to estimate how much you will use it.
If you have lectures all days of the week and live a long way from University then you might assume that you will use the bus on 2 occasions everyday as well as during nights out etc.
Don’t forget to be realistic. For example you might plan to walk to uni every day but as the year moves on you may start getting the bus for those extra minutes in bed.
Look at the cheap student bus tickets on offer
If you know how many times you will travel then you can use the cost of a single ticket to find out what you would spend on the bus. As a student there are lots of ticket options available to save money on the bus.
It depends on what part of the country you are in but there may be daily, weekly and yearly passes like the Manchester Unirider available for students that will save you money in the long run. If you know that you will only use the bus 4 times a week then single tickets may be best for you but majority of students will use the bus more times than this and can therefore save money with a weekly or yearly pass.
Save money with a Unirider student bus pass
Most cities run a different system but the most notable for universities in the UK is the student Unirider. The Unirider is one of the best value yearly bus passes for students out there. The Unirider student yearly bus pass is available at a large number of cities including Aberdeen, Glasgow, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sunderland, Canterbury, Hull and many more (you can check if your city is included here).
The cost can vary from city to city (depending on the single student bus ticket price) and the yearly student bus ticket in Manchester (Manchester Unirider) is only £199 for the year (when bought online) but the yearly student bus pass in Glasgow will set you back about £270.
You can buy annual Unirider tickets at the Stagecoach website and if you buy today then you are eligible for a £15 online discount (that’s enough for a night out in some cities). You can buy your student yearly bus passes for Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and many more cities here. You can also buy term bus passes which will set you back around £100.
If you study in Manchester and would prefer to use all buses as opposed to those just on Oxford Road then you will need to get your hands on a System One Travel Card. It gives Manchester students the ability to travel on any bus in the Greater Manchester area for just £1.75 a day. What’s more, their student passes are available both monthly & yearly.
Not only could you save lots of money throughout the year but you can skip the queues and travel at anytime of day for no extra cost with a yearly Unirider bus pass or System One Travel Card.
Other yearly bus passes on offer to students
There are a number of cities that are not covered by the Unirider yearly bus pass including Leeds and Bristol (2 of the major university cities). They are covered by the First group and a yearly bus pass for these cities could set you back around £312. Check if your city is included in the First group student prices here. If you are going to University in London then be sure to check out our London student city guide in order to see how to save money on the bus in London.
You can see a list of the bus passes for many major University cities below.
Free Student Bus Passes
In reality, there is no such thing as a free bus pass. However, some cities such as Bradford, Manchester and Leeds actually offer free inner city buses. It just so happens that a number of these free buses pass major universities in these towns. If you are lucky enough to have a free bus run from your local stop to the university then we recommend that you take full advantage of it.
Extra tips on how to save money on the bus as a student
There are lots of clever ways to save money when using the bus and here are are the final few:
- Find out where the price zones are - you could even save money by simply walking to the next stop if it is in the next price zone
- Get a bike – It may seem like an expensive outlay but if you can get a second hand bike that will last you for 3 years then you could end up saving £100′s and keep fit at the same time
- Walk - if your university is only a quick walk away then it may be a good idea to walk
- Be wary of peak times – In many cities the cost of buses rise sharply at night so be careful after nights out
- Use the right company – In some cities the same bus route is traveled by a number of bus companies. Check out which ones may be cheaper and have student offers and use them.
Save money on national bus travel
If you think outside of just the city you are living in then you may want to travel to other cities to meet friends or even travel home. The train can be quite expensive and there are lots of ways for students to save money on travel to most major cities in the UK.
List of cities offering yearly bus passes on offer to student
If your city is not on this list then there may not be a yearly student bus pass on offer. However, it may be a good idea to check by doing a quick search for your city name + yearly student bus pass (for London see our student city guide).