Public Transport: Ticket Options

Paying for a journey by public transport is now easier than ever! With a number of season tickets available in the area, contactless payments accepted on most services and even the option of purchasing and storing tickets on your smart phone you’ll find it super easy to find a payment method that suits you!

If you are a regular public transport user, make sure that you have spent some time exploring ways you could save some money. Paying on the day may be a quick and flexible option, but you could make some serious savings by buying a monthly or annual pass, or by booking your travel in advance.

First and Harrogate Bus Co. Ticketing

Many of the local bus services are operated by First or Harrogate Bus Co., who both offer a range of ticketing options aimed at making your journeys as cheap as possible. Both also now accept contactless payments on all services across the region, which is ideal if you plan on paying for your bus journey on the day of your travel.

For further details on ticket types, including information on how to buy tickets via your smart phone, follow the links below.


If your regular journey is within West Yorkshire, and includes more than one bus operator, or is combined with a journey by rail, an MCard may offer a better option. The MCard is a smart card, administered by WY Metro that makes travelling on buses, train or both in West Yorkshire really simple and great value too!


If you often use the bus to travel to/from train stations then a PLUSBUS ticket may be for you. A Harrogate area PLUSBUS ticket gives you unlimited bus travel on the participating operators’ services (including all Harrogate Bus Co. services) around the Harrogate, Knareborough and Wetherby areas.

National Railcard holders get 33% off and children under 16 get 50% off day ticket prices. There are also season tickets available for commuters for seven days, a month, three months and a year.

Train Tickets

Finding good value train tickets is easier than ever, with a number of great online tools available! Most stations now have ticket machines if not a ticket office, making purchasing train tickets in person really simple. Alternatively, the Trainline app gives you the ability to purchase digital tickets to store on your smartphone, as well as giving you live journey information.

Booking train travel in advance is an easy way to get cheaper tickets, with the number of cheap advance fares available doubling in the last few years! Advance tickets are available to buy as far as 12 weeks before your date of travel and can usually be purchased up until 6pm the day before.

Season Tickets

If you’re making the same train journey three days per week or more, perhaps on your journey to work, then getting a regular season ticket could save you a considerable amount of money! Most season tickets of 7-days or longer can only be used by a specific person and will require a Photocard to validate them.

If you’re travelling between 2-3 days per week and need a little extra flexibility, new Flexi Season Tickets allow you to travel 8 days in 28 between specified stations, working out at 2.5 days of travel per week. The Flexi Season ticket will offer a minimum of 20% discount on an equivalent Monthly Season ticket, so definitely worth looking into if you know you’re going to be splitting your time between home and the office.

Use National Rail’s handy tool to calculate the cost of different season tickets by follow the link below.

Further Discounts

If you regularly commute to work by bus it’s worth checking if your employer is part of the First Corporate Travel Scheme, as you’ll get great discounts on annual bus tickets if they are!

West Yorkshire Metro also have a discount available on Annual MCards for employees of businesses that are part of their Travel Plan Network. It’s worth checking if your employer is a member if you make journeys on both bus and train, or on buses with different operators.

If you regularly travel by train it’s worth checking if you’re eligible for a Railcard. You could be saving 1/3 on all of your train travel!

There are a number of different concessions for seniors wishing to travel locally and nationally in England, across all types of public transport. For more information about eligibility and the concessions available check out Age UK’s guide by following the link below.