Bus users are saving an average of £1,200* a year – the equivalent of £100 a month – according to the study commissioned by Stagecoach.
Although pump prices are at their lowest level for four years, the Stagecoach survey of around 40 key commuter corridors across Scotland, England and Wales found that hopping on the bus is still cheaper than the cost of fuel and parking.
The bus and coach operator even says that the saving is enough to pay almost all of the average household’s gas and electricity costs for a year**.
Stagecoach Group chief executive Martin Griffiths said: “People may be surprised to hear that, despite lower fuel prices for motorists, it is still possible to save a significant amount of money by commuting by bus.
“We have been independently found to offer the best value fares in Britain and we are continuing to deliver savings for customers, particularly through our multi-journey tickets which are used by the majority of our passengers.
“There are also other benefits to switching from the car to the bus, including avoiding the stress of driving in traffic jams, having to pay potentially costly parking charges and being able to go online and check emails on the increasing number of our vehicles that have on-board Wifi.”
The study assessed the cost of making the journey daily by car, taking into account only the cost of fuel, parking and any toll road payments – no other costs associated with car ownership were included.
It then compared the motoring cost with the cost of purchasing a weekly multi-journey ticket on Stagecoach buses which allows unlimited travel on Stagecoach services within the designated area.
The results showed that, for every route assessed, taking the bus cost significantly less than commuting by car.
In particular, the Stagecoach survey found that taking the bus between Glenrothes and Edinburgh could be 64 per cent cheaper than driving.
Griffiths added: “Delivering high-quality, good value, reliable bus services is a shared responsibility between operators and local and central Government. Bus priority measures are essential to enable bus operators to deliver the reliable services that customers quite rightly expect but these can only be implemented with the support of local authorities.
“Like all bus operators, we face a number of challenges in being able to continue delivering low fares for customers – operating costs have risen in the last year and we do not see the benefit of the recent drop in oil price as the majority of our fuel costs have been agreed in advance. However, we believe it is vital to deliver affordable travel for our customers and this survey shows that we are continuing to offer fares that represent better value than taking the car. That is a crucial part of our strategy to continue attracting more people on to greener, smarter bus travel.”
*Figure is based on an average saving calculated across 36 commuter routes in the UK. Individual savings will vary. Fuel prices recorded between January 13 and 16 2015. Monthly and annual savings calculated on Weekly Megarider purchases over 46 weeks of the year.