Transportation in Manchester is not easy to explain. There are several different operators of regional trains which have a very difficult fare system. At the same time, public transportation in the inner city is very well developed and consists of a combination of buses and the Metrorail, a tram system with very frequent operations. Taxis in Manchester are safe, but rather expensive.
When it comes to transportation in Manchester, it is worth noting that the system is a little complicated when it comes to long-distance and regional trains. While countries like Germany got companies with a semi-monopoly, there are several different operators in the United Kingdom.
For regional transportation in and around Manchester, this means that you have to look up which train company is serving your destination. The most important operator of regional trains in the Manchester area is Northern Rail.
Metrorail is the most important transportation network in the inner city and suburbs of Manchester. The tram-like system consists of six different lines. The two original lines, Altrincham Line (Yellow) and Bury Line (Green), are operating most frequently. While these two got a weekday frequency of six minutes, all other lines got a frequency of twelve minutes.
All cars which operate the Metrorail in Manchester are rather modern and accessible. Even though Metrorail is comparable with a tram network, it still has some differences. Some lines, for example, operate on converted railway tracks, while most operate on- or off-street. For exchange, you may use either Piccadilly or Victoria Station. All of the tram lines stop at either one or even both.
Metrorail lines in Manchester:
Manchester also has something very special when it comes to public transportation. Due to the fact that the train stations are located in different areas of the city and are not all connected with each other, there’s a so-called Metroshuttle.
Three complimentary bus lines connect the most important train stations and several other important spots in the city center of Manchester with each other. All start and end at Piccadilly Station. Metroshuttle is one of the few public transportation systems in European metropolises which is for free, definitely something special!
Metroshuttle lines in Manchester:
In addition to the three complimentary bus lines in Manchester, there are also normal buses. There are also some of the very special double decker buses which look very similar to the ones you’ll spot in London. When it comes to interchange between buses, trams and trains, there are several different important stations. In the inner city, Piccadilly and Victoria Station are the most important ones. Greater Manchester, Altrincham, Bolton, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and Wythenshaw are also of great importance. Something you can be sure of is that you get a modern and accessible bus in Manchester!
If the public transportation in Manchester is too complicated for you, taxis may be an alternative. All taxi companies in Manchester have to charge the same prices by law. The base fare during the day is 2.30 Pounds (~ 3.30 Euro / 3.50 US-Dollar) for the first 404.52 yards (370.81 meters) and from there on 0.20 Pounds (~ 0.28 Euro / 0.30 US-Dollar) for 190.45 yards (174.15 meters).
This means that every mile (1.6 kilometers) is charged approximately 3.90 Pounds (~ 5.55 Euro / 5.95 US-Dollar). Prices at night (10 pm to 6 am and on all bank holidays) are slightly higher. There are several additional charges including a Christmas and New Year extra charge of 50 percent more than the usual night price. With these prices, taking a taxi in Manchester is extremely expensive.
Manchester does not really have any special means of transportation. As a tourist, you may make use of the offer sightseeing tours by Manchester Bus Tours.