How to get a £2 bus ticket in Portsmouth and Hampshire including which routes you can take

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An initiative allowing bus passengers to travel across Hampshire for as little as £2 a journey has been extended into 2024.

Single journeys are being capped at £2 on most routes all across Hampshire under the Department for Transport's Help for Households funded Bus Fare Cap. the scheme was originally due to end in March 2023 but has been extended following its success.

Here is everything you need to know about the initiative:

What exactly is the £2 bus fares cap?

The £2 bus ticket scheme has been extended until JuneThe £2 bus ticket scheme has been extended until June
The £2 bus ticket scheme has been extended until June

Until June 30 2023, the cost of a single bus fare will be a maximum of £2 on most routes funding funded by the Government to help people save money on their travel costs and will encourage more people to choose buses for local journeys and beyond.

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Which bus companies in Portsmouth and the rest of Hampshire are taking part?

The companies in Hampshire, including Portsmouth, taking part are:

The full list of participating bus companies is available on the Gov.UK website.

What journeys does it cover?

The £2 single fare will cover all journeys by participating bus operators, with return journeys reduced to a maximum of £4.

Is there a maximum distance?

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No, there isn’t a maximum distance, however the cap only covers local buses and does not cover inter-city coach journeys. For a full list of the routes see the individual bus company’s website.

What payment methods are included?

You can pay for the £2 fare in a variety of ways depending on who you are traveling with. This includes using Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay or Google Pay to tap on, tap off the bus, buying a special £2 single ticket on the bus company’s app, which must be used by June 30 and be activated less than 15 minutes before boarding the bus or by paying by cash on the bus.

My usual fare is below £2. Does this mean it will go up to £2?

Fares below £2 will remain unchanged, so you will not pay any more than usual for your journey.

Does this cap cover child fares as well as adult fares?

Yes it does.

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Will people with concessionary tickets get free/discounted travel?

There are no changes to the national bus pass scheme for older and disabled people. Free bus pass holders will continue to receive free travel under the terms of that scheme. Jobseeker fares will continue to be offered at a 50% discount against the relevant single fare.

Will the price of day, multi-day and weekly tickets and caps, as well as longer term tickets, change?

No, the price of these tickets and caps will be unchanged, so you may save if you buy £2 tickets for each journey instead or you may be better off with the weekly, monthly or longer term tickets rather than the £2 ones.

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If fares are capped, do I still have to ‘tap off’ when I get off the bus as well as ‘tap on’ if I use this method of payment?

Yes, you still need to tap off and tap on, in order to ensure we can calculate the correct fare.

What happens if I change buses – do I have to pay £2 twice?

Yes, you do. The fare cap only applies to a journey on a single bus.

How long does the offer last?

The offer was due to run until until the end of March 2023 but had now been extended into 2024 under six monthly reviews.

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I have not travelled on a bus for a long time – or ever – how advice can you give me?

Plan your journey so you know which bus and route are right for you. Make sure you take a note of the bus number and when your bus is approaching the bus stop, just put out your hand so the driver knows to stop and let you on board. When you get on the bus, ask the driver for a single ticket to your destination or show your ticket before taking your seat. When you’re approaching your destination bus stop, press any of the stop buttons located around the bus. When the bus comes to a stop, thank your driver as you get off.