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Getting Around Manchester Is Public Transportation Good

Getting Around Manchester: Is Public Transportation Good?

One of the best things about Manchester is its reliable transportation system. Thanks to its good urban planning, there are many options for public transportation for both locals and tourists.

In this article, we will explore some of the best ways to explore the city if you don’t have a private vehicle. 

What are the best and worst things about public transit in Manchester?

Some of the most common types of public transportation in Manchester are buses, trains, and trams. This allows commuters to get from points A to B with little to no hassle. 

Traveling in Manchester is the best because there is an available ride at any time of the day. On top of this, it’s also generally safe for commuters to get around here.

However, there are also things that you should keep your eyes open to, such as the time of last trips, possible pickpockets, and confusing stations. 



Unfortunately, the last train and tram are usually until 10:00 pm only, while the first trip starts at around 7:00 am. With this, it might be best to check alternate routes if you plan to take the train or tram during off hours.

On the other hand, taking the 24/7 buses in the city is convenient for those traveling at night or those working a graveyard shift. Additionally, taxis and ride-hailing applications are accessible anytime.



When it comes to your safety, you can be assured that most of the Mancunians are polite and helpful. You can ask them for directions and tips around the city, and we are sure you will rarely find someone who wouldn’t oblige.

Additionally, there are also a lot of security personnel assigned in multiple areas, especially those that are thick with commuters. You can also come to them in case you need assistance.

However, just like anywhere else in the world, you need to be wary of the occasional pickpockets and grifters. Other than this, you should be fine on the streets of Manchester.


Another positive thing about Manchester is that it’s fairly easy to navigate. Your best option is to use the tram system as it has a wide coverage of the area. 

Find the nearest station to your destination. Once you are there, you should only be a bus ride or walking distance away to where you are heading.

However, since there are many tram stations across the city, it can sometimes get confusing as to which one is the best stop for you. With this, it would be best to consult a local or you may also check the internet. 

Is Manchester easy to get around?

Yes, getting around Manchester is fairly easy. Of course, it may take a little while for you to get used to it, especially if it’s your first time. 

After all, Manchester is the birthplace of the world’s inaugural passenger railway. On top of this, it is also the home to the UK’s first bus service.

Here are some of the modes of public transportation that you can take in the city.

Metrolink Trams

As mentioned earlier, trams are some of the most used public transportation in the area. It has over 99 stops that extend for over 65 miles – perfect for both long distance or short distance travel.

Another good thing about trams is that they are faster than taking the road since you don’t have to navigate through traffic. It’s also relatively safer since there are fewer accidents with trams compared to other modes of transportation.

The downside is that their fares can be a little complicated. Metrolink trams have a total of four zones, each one has their own price structure. 

Fares start at £1.40 for a single journey, but it can increase depending on where you intend to travel. However, you may also purchase travel cards that can last for up to a year if you will take the tram regularly. 

Lastly, as mentioned earlier trams also have last trips that are usually scheduled at 10:00 pm. Unfortunately, the next train will come at around 7:00 am.


  • Wide coverage of the city
  • Faster than taking the road
  • Safer compared to other modes of transportation
  • Long-term travel cards for regular passengers


  • Complicated pricing
  • Not available for 24 hours

2. Local Trains

Local Trains

Trains are also a great way to get around Manchester. There are over 91 station suburban train system.

There is also a station near the airport, so this is a great mode of transportation for those who would arrive in the city via plane. Aside from this, the station also covers peak destinations in the area such as Picadilly, Victoria, and Deansgate.

When it comes to the fare, you may avail of their Rail Ranger ticket at £7.70. This will allow you to take unlimited rides for a day.

However, you may only use the ticket on weekdays before 9:30 am. Additionally, the card is also valid between 4:01 pm and 6:29 pm.


  • Has over 91 stations
  • Has access to airport and peak destinations


  • Unlimited rides for Rail Ranger ticket is available on off peak hours only

3. Buses


What makes buses great in Manchester is that they are connected to the train and tram stations. They are most commonly used for areas that are not covered by the railway system. 

Three routes offer free bus rides across the city. This is perfect for tourists as this usually covers top destinations in the area.

Another positive thing is that they also have a unified payment method for most buses in the city. At £6, you can get the System One AnyBus, which will allow you to take unlimited bus rides for the entire day.

The only downside to buses is that you will have to face the city traffic – it can get pretty heavy during peak hours. If taking the bus is your only option, it would be best to go at a more strategic time to avoid unnecessary delays. 


  • Connected to trains and trams
  • Three routes with free rides
  • Has a unified payment method


  • Require passengers to go through city traffic

4. Taxis and Ride-Sharing Applications

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Applications

As for those who have the budget for it, taxis and ride-sharing applications are also useful in the city. 

When it comes to taxis, all you need to do is hail them directly from the street. Here, you will be charged around £2.30 for every 348.44 miles.

You may also explore various scheduled taxi services in case you are on a business trip and you want to make sure that you arrive at all of your appointments on time.

Since taxis can be hard to find during rush hour, you may opt for ride-sharing applications like Uber instead. Here, you will be charged a fixed fee based on the distance of your destination.

They accept cash, or you may also pay through online banking if your provider will support it.

Unfortunately, while these services are more comfortable compared to the first ones we have mentioned, it is also going to be more costly. On top of that, this option will also make you vulnerable to city traffic.  

You also need to make time for occasional gas stops. Luckily, there are many gas stations across the city.


  • Can be scheduled in advance
  • More comfortable compared to other modes of transportation
  • Accepts cash and online banking payment methods


  • More expensive compared to other modes of transportation
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