I was recently in Manchester and rode the Metro link tram into town. We bought tickets via a ticket machine and what I found was a single was £3.50 and a return was £3.70. Why the prices are so similar I have no idea. For the sake of 20p I got a return even though the odds were that we would come back in a taxi.

I think this sort of pricing is fairly common although I haven’t seen this closer to where I live (West Yorkshire). But the other problem with buying tickets is when you decide what you want you are guessing what will happen in the future… Yesterday I bought a day rider bus ticket (same as a return costing £3.80). However, I got a lift back with a friend so I could have got away with just a single (£2.50). This is where the card payment system adopted by large cities wins in my opinion.

Just pay for what you use, when you use it!

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