First Bus Family

Almost half of UK adults set to switch to bus as cost-of-living crisis begins to bite

  • 41% of UK adults are planning to use the bus more frequently in a bid to save money, as households feel the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis. 
  • London has seen the most increased bus use (60%) followed by Glasgow (47%), Leeds (45%) and Liverpool (43%).

Almost half of UK adults are set to take the bus more frequently in a bid to save money as the cost-of-living crisis begins to take its toll on household incomes.

Not only this, but two-fifths of adults (41%) of those that haven’t yet made the change in their travel habits, plan to in favour of increased bus use.

According to the research carried out by First Bus, the top cities whose bus services are expected to see this heightened demand are London (60%), Glasgow (47%), Leeds (45%) and Liverpool (43%).

Those aged 16–24 have made the most difference and claim to have started taking the bus more because of the three top reasons, to save money on petrol during the cost-of-living crisis, to help the environment and to choose the more relaxing option of travel, as opposed to driving.

First Bus Family travel

The data, which provides a snapshot view of how the cost-of-living crisis is driving transport decisions, was commissioned by First Bus to highlight the benefits of bus travel at a time where many (23%) are preparing for a recession and are looking for simple ways to save money.

More widely, respondents advised that other ways they’re seeking to save money is by avoiding eating and drinking when out of the home, such as by taking packed lunches and picnics (43%), walking and/or cycling more (31%), and taking shorter showers (29%).

Simon Pearson, Chief Commercial Officer at First Bus UK, said:

“It’s great that people can see that taking the bus is a great way to support family budgets as more and more people consider cost saving measures. At First Bus, we’re working hard to make sure bus can become an increasingly viable and hassle-free solution for more people through the introduction of clear ticketing structures, and the introduction of new technologies that allow us to offer the best value fares.

“The steps that we have made, from implementing and developing the app to adopting electric and hydrogen vehicles into our network, means that bus has evolved and changed for the better. It’s worlds apart from the stereotypes of legacy bus travel and will only get better still as the technology around real-time data and up-to-the-minute information continues to mature.

“We’ve recently completed the largest roll-out of Tap On, Tap Off technology outside of London, in keeping with our commitment to making bus easier to use for the communities we serve. We will continue to work closely with central and Local Government across the UK to meet demand and welcome people back to bus.”

Metrodecker EV in York with Minster behind

First Bus has been concentrating on value for the less-frequent Traveller through the roll-out of new ticketing technologies, single fares costing as little as £1.40 when purchased via Tap On, Tap Off.

Ticket offers are also constantly being tailored to meet the needs of changing travel patterns in a post-covid world where bus could be viewed as something that’s a clever choice within a person’s usual transport mix, instead of people feeling pressured to use one mode of transport for all their journeys.

For more information on bus services in your area: 

Notes to editors

About First Bus

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks. We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience.

We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup. 

First Bus UK News