How to catch the bus - FAQs
Planning your journey
We’ve made it easier than ever to find where your nearest bus stop is. Simply open the map on the First Bus App or the online Journey Planner, pop in your details and you’ll see all of the bus stops close to the location where you’re starting your journey.
If you’ve never caught the bus before, it can be difficult to know which one to catch, but we’ve made it easier than ever. Type in your chosen destination and where you’re travelling from into the First Bus App or the Journey Planner tool, and we’ll let you know which number you need.
Choosing Your Ticket
If you buy a FirstWeek ticket, this is valid from the day of first use. This means that if you buy a weekly bus ticket on a Monday, the ticket will last until the end of Sunday. You will need to scan or show the ticket to the driver on every trip.
We offer child tickets to under 16-year-olds everywhere we operate. And, depending on where you live, you may be able to get cheaper tickets if you’re under the age of 18 too, however prices will differ depending on the region, so be sure to check your local bus prices page. You can also get cheaper tickets if you’re a student too.
We want to make travelling with young children as easy and stress-free as possible. That’s why we allow up to two children under the age of five to travel completely free of charge for every fare-paying adult customer.
Depending on where you live, you could be entitled to a free bus pass when you reach the age of 60. If you live in Scotland or Wales, then you can apply for a free bus pass when you reach 60, however, if you live in England, you’ll have to wait until you reach the state pension age, which is subject to change. You can apply for a free bus pass online through the Government’s website.
Whether you’ve bought an mTicket on our App or a paper ticket, a day ticket allows you to travel an unlimited number of times within the day that it was activated.
Typical validities for our tickets are:
FirstDay: The remainder of the day the ticket is used.
FirstWeek: The remainder of the day the ticket is used plus a further 6 days
FirstMonth: The remainder of the day the ticket is used plus a further number of days in the month minus one
First4Week: The remainder of the day the ticket is used plus a further 27 days
Mobile tickets have a QR code that counts down showing how long is left. If you’re making multiple journeys, you’ll also need to show your ticket each time you get on the bus.
Buying your Ticket
We’ve made buying bus tickets as easy and as stress-free as possible for our customers, and we offer a variety of different options. Here are just a few ways you can buy a bus ticket:
• First Bus App: Buying mTickets on the First Bus App is the most convenient way to buy tickets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s the best option for buying day and week tickets, and tickets bought through the First Bus App are often cheaper too! • Online: If you’re looking to buy a season ticket, such as FirstMonth, First3Month or FirstYear, you can do this online following this link. When buying your ticket online, you can choose to receive the ticket on the First Bus App, making your journey even easier.
• On the Bus: Of course, you can still buy your tickets on the bus using cash and you can also pay using contactless cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay up to the value of £30.00.
• Travel Shop: Some of the larger towns we operate in have Travel Shops in the town centre, where you can pop in and buy your bus tickets, and ask any questions you may have about our services.
From time-to-time, we may need to review our fares to meet the rising costs that we face as a business. The impact of traffic congestion and the rising costs for staff, vehicles, maintenance and fuel all must be met, but we always work hard to keep any price increases to a minimum to ensure you’re getting good value for money.
Yes, ticket gifting is now live on the First Bus App, allowing you to buy your child’s mTicket and transfer it directly to their phone, so there’s no need for them to have to carry a credit or debit card of their own. Follow our step by step guide today.
From 70p to £70, the price of bus tickets will vary depending on your age, how far you’re travelling, how long the ticket lasts for and the area in which you’re travelling. Visit our Buy a Ticket section online or check the App for exact prices. Our day, weekly, monthly and longer-term tickets provide savings compared to multiple single cash fares. One of the best ways to buy these tickets is to use mTickets on the First Bus App, it’s quick, easy and often cheaper than paying with cash. Download the app and follow the instructions, it’s that simple.
Unfortunately, if you miss your bus, we can’t refund you your ticket. We can only provide refunds for un-activated tickets; any activated tickets are non-refundable. But, the good thing about bus tickets is that they’re not set to a certain time that day, so hopefully you should be able to hop on the next bus.
Refund requests for annual and long-term student tickets may be reviewed on a case by case basis by a member of the mTicket Support Team. Contact the mTicket support team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 03300 947 577 so we can fully answer your enquiry.
Making your Journey
There are plenty of ways to find out what time your bus will arrive. The easiest way is to use the First Bus App. This will give you point-to-point details as well as live updates on when your bus is due to arrive. You can also do this by using the next bus section online. Some stops have a digital timetable that displays live bus times. The First Bus App will also give you the chance to check when your bus is due before you leave the house.
We try our best to make sure that services run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. However, some things are out of our control, and we can’t prepare for things such as weather conditions or unexpected congestion, which can sometimes cause our services to run a little late. If there are any major issues or planned disruptions, we’ll always try and let you know about them on our website or regional Twitter pages.
Once you’ve found your bus stop, you now just have to keep an eye out for your bus. Look out for the number or destination displayed on the front. As your bus approaches, raise your arm and put out your hand to signal to the driver that you’re wanting to get on the bus.
If you have bought your ticket in advance, you’ll just need to scan your ticket on the machine when hopping on board a First Bus. If you’re buying a ticket on the bus, tell the bus driver where you’re wanting to go and if you’re coming back, then the bus driver will provide you with your ticket. If you’re unsure where to get off, you can always ask the bus driver to let you know when your stop is coming up.
For discounted tickets, children, students and young people may be required to prove their age when buying a bus ticket. They may also need to show a local entitlement card if they’re trying to get a local authority funded discount.
No, buses will only stop at marked bus stops, so be sure to know where you’re getting off in advance. If you’re unsure where to get off, the bus driver will be happy to help, and you can ask him/her to let you know when your stop is coming up. If you’re waiting at a bus stop, be sure to hail the bus down so it knows you’re there, as it may not pull up at every allocated bus stop if nobody is getting off.
If you’re ever unsure as to which stop you should get off at, ask the driver when you get on the bus, to let you know when your stop is coming up.
As you’re approaching your stop, simply press the bell and wait until the bus comes to a halt. If you’re unsure where the bus stops near your destination, ask the driver for help when you get on the bus, and they will let you know when your destination is coming up.
Yes, all of our buses are easily accessible, making it easy for people in wheelchairs and parents with pushchairs to get around. We have ramps as standard on all vehicles, as well as lower curbs at some bus stops too. There are also priority seats at the front of the bus too. If you do need any assistance, please ask the driver and they’ll be happy to help.
There are ticket options on some routes that are valid with certain other bus operators. We are also part of PLUSBUS, which means you can combine bus and train travel. Select your region for more details: