Why catching the bus is the thrifty travel option

Did you know that 4th-10th July is “Catch The Bus Week”? As a thrifty gal who likes to save money on travel this really interested me. Other than using park-and-ride services to travel into big cities like Cambridge and Norwich (which is a really thrifty way to park in cities like this, not to mention avoid sitting for hours in traffic!) I’ve not really been on a bus for quite a few years. But I remember it being a fun thing to set off on a trip by bus – especially when we were students – so ‘Catch The Bus Week’ (and the twitter hashtag #CTBW) really caught my attention and I wanted to investigate further.catch the bus weekWhen you consider the cost of owning a car (yes, those payments for insurance, car tax, MOTs and maintenance all add up!), combined with the fuel needed to make the trip, parking costs and the time it takes to sit in slow-moving traffic as busses zip past in the bus lane (time is money, my friend), I can’t believe that I hadn’t realised the thrifty nature of bus travel until now. It’s like having a pay-as-you-go vehicle, which totally makes sense to me – you only pay when you actually use it! And when I looked up bus fares this week I actually think that the price is less than I remember.biobusAnd I’ve not even mentioned the ecological benefits of only one vehicle travelling with numerous passengers. It would mean that roads are less congested, fewer emissions will be polluting the air in cities AND it rush hour will become a thing of the past. Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away here but travelling by bus is definitely something worth considering. I know that some regions have less-than-reliable bus services (we’re very rural here and catching a bus would be difficult) but there are lots of places you can easily travel by bus. Check out this interactive map to see some of the areas Stagecoach operate in.addenbrookes

Did you know on average we spend six hours per week commuting to work and school in our cars? Imagine what you could do with an extra 6 hours per week. In those six hours, Stagecoach have worked out the average bus commuter could do:

  1. 12 Facetime catch ups with friends and family using the free Wifi onboard.
  2. In one year of commuting by bus, you could read about 52 books!
  3. Bus commuters could learn French onboard in just half a year!
  4. Bus commuters could watch every episode of Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad in a year!
  5. You could knit 28 scarves a year!
  6. Enough time to read 8,550 newspaper articles
  7. A third of bus commuters listen to other people’s conversations!

oxford-tubeWhile I was planning a Coasthopper tour around North Norfolk and checking out bus pass prices for go-anywhere dayrider passes I spotted that Stagecoach are also running a social media competition. They’re asking people to upload a picture which shows ‘how they spend their time onboard’ and the best picture will win £100 amazon vouchers. I’m definitely going to be entering, so let me know if you do too! coasthopper bus stagecoachAnd also let me know what you think of the idea of travelling by bus? Do you already free up some time on your daily commute by catching the bus each day? Have you been on a day-trip to somewhere lovely by bus? Or are you planning a summer road trip to explore a new county? Let me know by leaving me a comment below or tweet me with your bus journey tips @Cassiefairy.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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