Each bus company decides its own fares. Tickets issued by one bus company are not usually valid for travel on a different company's buses unless a special arrangement is in place. Any special arrangements are shown in the timetables published by Herefordshire Council.
It is always possible to pay the bus driver for your journey at the time of travel, although some bus companies sell special tickets for more than one journey which work out cheaper than paying the driver every time.
Here are the names of the most common types of tickets:
Every bus driver will be able to sell you a single ticket. They are valid for one journey in one direction only. The cost of the ticket varies according to the distance travelled. Ask for "A single to Hereford (or wherever you are going), please".
Most (but not all) bus companies will sell a "return" ticket, but in some cases they are not available before 9:00hrs. The ticket allows you to make one journey in each direction between two places. You must return to where you started from and both journeys must be on the same day. Unless there is a special arrangement mentioned on the timetable you cannot use a return ticket issued by one bus company on a different company’s bus even though they are on the same route. A return ticket is cheaper than two singles. Ask for "A return to Hereford [or wherever you are going], please".
Some bus companies sell tickets which allow you to make as many journeys as you like on their buses in one day. These are useful if you have to make a journey that needs a change of bus or if you need to travel into town twice in the same day or even if you just want to do a bit of exploring! Examples of these tickets are:
"Explorer" - travel as much as you want on buses run by the "Stagecoach" bus company in one day. Cost is £6 for one person or £11 for up to four people
Travel Tip! - For four people travelling together an £11 Explorer ticket may be cheaper than four separate return tickets!
"First Day" - travel as much as you want on buses run by "First" bus company in one day. Tickets cost £5.50.
"Sunday Rover" - travel as much as you want on ANY bus in Herefordshire and Worcestershire on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. Tickets cost £4.60.
Tickets for Longer Periods
Some bus companies sell tickets that allow unlimited travel on their services for longer periods. You can find details of these on the bus company websites contained in the “related links” box below.
How to catch a bus
In towns and larger villages buses stop for passengers at places marked with a "bus stop" sign. In smaller villages and between settlements buses will stop anywhere on the road where it is safe. Corners, junctions, tops of hills and fast main roads are not considered "safe" for buses to stop unless there is a marked bus stop. Passengers should signal to the bus driver that they want to catch the bus by facing the oncoming bus and holding out an arm.
The final destination and service number (route) will usually be displayed on the front of the bus.
You must pay your fare to the driver when getting on the bus (please see the "fares" section below for details). Drivers will give change if they can but it would help them if you have the right money, or at least a selection of coins, available.
When you reach your destination and wish to leave the bus please signal to the driver by ringing the bell once.
If you are travelling with luggage please place it in the luggage racks provided. Please do not leave it on the seats or in the gangway, where someone might fall over it. When the bus is full it is considered to be good manners to give up your seat to someone who needs it more than you do.
Herefordshire Council produces timetable books that include details of all bus and train services in the county. They can be bought from libraries, tourist information centres, the "Tesco" supermarket in Hereford and some village shops. Books cost 40p. Bus timetables can change on any one of seven pre-arranged dates in a year and timetable books and "updates" are published on these dates.
Timetable information for Herefordshire is also available on the internet onhttp://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/transport/public_transport/26827.asp. Bus timetables for other parts of Great Britain are available on http://www.traveline.info
Departure times are also displayed at important bus stops, and many bus stops display a code from which you can receive information by SMS text message.
You can also find out bus times by telephone. The "traveline" enquiry service is open every day from 7.00hrs to 22.00hrs on 0871 200 2233.
Herefordshire bus services
Bus services in Herefordshire are run by a number of private companies, which decide their own routes, times and fares. Herefordshire Council has overall responsibility for public transport and for providing information on services. The Council also provides bus stops and shelters for passengers.