How to Save Money on Bus Tickets

Posted by Ian on August-15-2011 under Save Money

OK, so you’re paying a fortune every month on bus tickets, huh? I hear you. Public transport isn’t cheap these days, regardless of the city you live in. Some say it is rising oil prices that push up transportation expenses. Others opine that governments are out to rip off the populace by whacking up the cost of living. No one really knows what the reasons are, we just daily, weekly or monthly diligently dig deep in our pockets and stuff coins into the coin machine on city buses.

save money on bus tickets

In some countries, these coins are handed to the driver who in turn produces a colorful receipt in the form of a ticket. So, with city buses, long distances buses and interstate buses, cranking up their prices we, the commuting public, need to look for ways to save money on bus tickets. The following are some ideas I’ve thought of that may just enable you to keep a few extra coins in your pocket each month.

  1. If you’re going on a long distance bus ride, book early. I mean real early – a couple of months before you plan to leave is best. Bus companies offer reductions to people that reserve early – it’s an incentive. You see, the bus company people don’t like being harried; he or she doesn’t like to have to rush. So, when you book well in advance he or she feels zero stress and rewards you with a decent discount.
  2. If you use the bus to get to work every morning, purchase a bus pass. They’re usually cheap and allow you to get on and off the bus at any place along the route. This means on your way home you can jump off the bus at the supermarket, do a bit of shopping and jump back on the next bus without having to pay. Bus passes are usually purchased at terminal bus stations. Sometimes you can buy them in newsagents or at book stores. If you do the math, you’ll learn that bus passes are around a couple of dollars per day cheaper than buying a standard ticket.
  3. Multi-commuter passes are another money saving way to ride the bus. These passes allow you to use both bus and train (not at the same time, of course). Indeed having one of these multi commuter passes allows you a choice of public transport. Local governments retail this type of pass in the hope more people will use public transportation. In Japan, for example, each month the Osaka City Government has something called “No my car day”. Although the English is horrendously bad, the idea of this day is to encourage the traveling public to make use of subways, above-ground trains and buses. On “No my car day” multi-commuter passes are sold very cheaply. It is said that on this particular monthly day, traffic noise is down and air pollution is a lot less. It appears that the Osaka City Government is actually doing something for the environment.
  4. Coupons are another way of purchasing cheap bus tickets. The next time you’re flicking through a magazine and you find a questionnaire asking about transportation in your city; fill out the form, you may receive transportation discounts.
  5. For those that use interstate buses like Greyhound and others, check  out their websites, you’ll probably find the bus company’s answer to the airline companies frequent flyer service. I’m sure Greyhound, Scanners (Australia) have discounts that will allow you to travel great distances for a very cheap price. I read that Greyhound have discount tickets that allow you to get on and off one of their buses anywhere at any time for a month or more. That means you’re able to take your time travelling across the US or Australia.
  6. If you happen to catch the same bus every morning and notice that the driver is the same person, get friendly with him or her. Once he or she is familiar with you, you might find that sometimes they’ll let you ride to work free of charge. remember the movie “Speed”? Of course, you can’t ask them not to charge you, but you can “pretend” you left your wallet or purse at home. I’m not recommending this method, I’m merely pointing it out as an option.

You can also check out other money saving tips like save money on daily office commute, save money on train tickets and reduce business travel expenses.

There are various methods or ways to procure cheap bus tickets all you have to do is be aware of discounts, coupons and other bargains. Cheap tickets for public transport become available quite often, it seems. However, the average bus, train or taxi user is unaware of these cheapies and thus misses out. Keep on your toes.

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