Welcome to the Bee Network!

Bee Network bus information display.

Oldham, alongside Rochdale, and parts of Bury, Manchester and Salford, are now part of the Bee Network.

This means that half of all buses in Greater Manchester are now under local control, aiming to serve you better. All buses in Greater Manchester will be part of the Bee Network by January 2025. Oldham Council is proud to support this transformative initiative from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reflecting our commitment to improving transport options for our residents.

Two hundred years since Greater Manchester launched a first-of-a-kind horse bus service between Pendleton and Manchester in 1824, the city-region continues to lead the way in transforming public transport by pioneering the return of locally controlled bus services.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Joining the Bee Network is a big step forward for us. It’s going to make our buses better in lots of ways.

Plus, it fits right in with our big plans to make Oldham a better place, starting with the changes at Spindles Shopping Centre. 

We’re all about making travel easier, safer, and better for the environment for everyone in our community.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We have a great and pioneering history when it comes to transport, as the birthplace of buses and the modern railway, so it’s fitting to once again be leading the way by bringing buses back under local control.

“This truly is another historic moment for Greater Manchester, and I am absolutely delighted to see the Bee Network rolled out to Oldham, Rochdale and parts of Bury, Salford and north Manchester.”

The Bee Network is Greater Manchester’s vision for an integrated, accessible and affordable ‘London-style’ transport system, which will change the way people travel across the city region. It launched on 24 September 2023, with the successful implementation of the first phase of bus franchising across Wigan, Bolton and parts of Bury and Salford.

Reports published weekly show that Bee Network bus services continue to be more reliable than before bus franchising and are outperforming services elsewhere in Greater Manchester. Between 1 January and 19 March, 74.30% of Bee Network buses were on time, compared to 67.62% of commercial services and 62.75% for the same period last year prior to franchising.

The number of people using Bee Network services has also increased. Between 5 and 18 November average weekday patronage on Bee Network buses was 131,095 and this grew to 138,010 between 3 and 16 March – an increase of 5.27%, with a Bee Network high of 141,720 on the 6 March and more than 17 million journeys so far.

Mayor Burnham added: “If you look at how Bee Network services are performing compared to before or the rest of the network then the proof really is in the pudding.

“It’s clear from the performance data we’re getting and the growing numbers of people using the Bee Network that we’re making a real difference, but we are by no means complacent – in fact quite the opposite. As we start this next exciting phase and look ahead to all buses coming under local control, I want to be clear that we want things to be better still and have an unwavering focus to deliver a Bee Network that works for you.”

Joining the Bee Network offers Oldham residents immediate benefits such as enhanced safety with the addition of a further 30 new TravelSafe officers, substantial savings with the new AnyBus + Tram tickets and the introduction of 50 new Zero Emission Buses and 84 new Euro 6 compliant buses to encourage sustainable travel. Additionally, the integration into the Bee Network will see improved service frequencies, extended operating hours, and better connections across the community, including immediate enhancements to key routes like the 52, 59, 83, 350, and 409.

Oldham Council is also excited to introduce the first TfGM Travel Shop inside Spindles Shopping Centre. This is the first of its kind in Greater Manchester, designed to ensure a resident-focused approach. In April, we will be running workshops that bring together existing TfGM Travel Shop staff and our customer service colleagues from Access Oldham. This initiative is aimed at fostering an understanding between the teams, enabling effective referrals and ensuring that our residents and visitors receive a more rounded and efficient service.

For more information on the Bee Network and how it affects you, please visit: Important changes to bus tickets and fares from 24 March 2024 | Bee Network | Powered by TfGM or contact the TfGM customer contact centre at 0161 244 1000.

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