Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is a local government body responsible for co-ordinating transport services throughout Greater Manchester in North West England. It is an executive arm of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the city region's administrative authority. The strategies and policies of Transport for Greater Manchester are set by the GMCA and its Greater Manchester Transport Committee (GMTC). The committee is made up of 33 councillors appointed from the ten Greater Manchester boroughs (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan), as well as the Mayor of Greater Manchester.[1]

Transport for Greater Manchester
PredecessorGreater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
Formation1 April 2011 (2011-04-01)
TypePublic body
PurposeTransport authority
Headquarters2 Piccadilly Place
M1 3BG
Region served
Greater Manchester
parts of Derbyshire, Cheshire & Lancashire
Vernon Everitt
Parent organisation
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)
£280 million (2015–16, excluding capital expenditure)

TfGM owns Metrolink – the United Kingdom’s largest light rail network – which is operated and maintained under contract by a Keolis/Amey consortium.[2][3] TfGM also owns Greater Manchester's Cycle Hire scheme, and is responsible for cycling and walking infrastructure. TfGM owns and maintains bus stations, stops & shelters, however bus services are deregulated in Great Britain outside London. Following the passing of the Bus Services Act 2017, Greater Manchester became the first city-region to start the process of bus franchising, returning bus services to public control.[4][5] TfGM does not control National Rail services or infrastructure in Greater Manchester.

TfGM is responsible for developing the Bee Network, an integrated transport network for Greater Manchester. The Bee Network is proposed to include a single transport livery, integrated fares & ticketing, and a fare cap across tram, bus, cycling, walking, and eventually suburban rail. By 2025, Metrolink trams, franchised buses services, and cycle hire are planned to be integrated.[6] Negotiations with central government are ongoing for some commuter rail services to join the network, starting from 2025.[6]


The organisation traces its origins to the Transport Act 1968, when the SELNEC (South East Lancashire/North East Cheshire) Passenger Transport Executive was established to co-ordinate public transport in and around Manchester. Between 1974 and 2011, it was known as the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE), until a reform of local government in Greater Manchester granted it more powers and prompted a corporate rebranding.[7] On 1 April 2011, the GMPTE became Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM),[8] a new regional transport body for Greater Manchester[9][10][11] that forms part of the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).


TfGM inherited the responsibilities of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive established in 1974. As a result, GMITA was abolished,[8] replaced by the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC) which ultimately reports to the Combined Authority. TfGMC and its subcommittees are made up of a nominated pool of 33 councillors from the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester who manage TfGM and create transport policy in Greater Manchester.

Although it differs in certain structural forms,[12] on the day of its inauguration TfGM became the second most powerful and influential transport organisation in England after Transport for London because it unites previously splintered governance over transport policy in the boroughs under one body.[13][14] It elects its own Chair and Vice-Chair and assumes the functions previously performed by GMITA as well as the newly devolved transport powers and responsibilities from government and the ten metropolitan councils which make up the area. The 33 councillors have voting rights on most transport issues despite not being members of the GMCA: major decisions still require approval by the GMCA, but the functions that are referred (but not delegated) to the TfGMC include making recommendations in relation to:

  • The budget and transport levy
  • Borrowing limit
  • Major and strategic transport policies
  • The local transport plan
  • Operation of Greater Manchester Transport Fund and approval of new schemes
  • Appointment of Director General/Chief Executive of TfGM


Rail and tram services in Greater Manchester

The Manchester Metrolink light rail system launched in 1992. Entirely subsidised by TfGM without a government grant and operated by KeolisAmey.[15] It carries over 43.7 million passengers a year.[16] With 99 stations it is the second largest local transport network in the United Kingdom after the London Underground. Further expansion to Stockport is envisaged.

Rail services

Rail services are operated by Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Northern, TransPennine Express and Transport for Wales.[17] TfGM subsidise fares on certain local services and fund station refurbishments on an ad hoc basis.


  • Free Bus and Metroshuttle: launched 2002, free bus service around Manchester city centre. New services were provided in Bolton, Oldham and Stockport after success of the service in Manchester.[18]
  • Bus services operated by private operators including Arriva North West, Bullocks Coaches, D&G Bus, Diamond Bus North West, First Greater Manchester, First West Yorkshire, Go North West, Rosso, Stagecoach Manchester & Vision Bus[19]
  • Maintenance of bus shelters and stations including Shudehill Interchange
  • Ring & Ride – An accessible, low-cost minibus service for people who have difficulty in using public transport

Highways and cycling

  • Greater Manchester Urban Traffic Control Unit (GMUTC) – responsibility for road management transferred to TfGM in 2009. Entails installation, maintenance and management of traffic signals, limited areas of road safety (2012), incident response and event management via a traffic control centre.
  • Cycling – promotion of the Greater Manchester Cycling Strategy and delivery of Cycle Hubs and regional cycle routes

Fares, ticketing and information

  • Subsidised fares on certain services
  • System One travelcards
  • Get me there
  • Public transport maps and timetables
  • Website
  • Route Explorer application

Bee Network

The Bee Network is a proposed integrated transport network for Greater Manchester, composed of bus, tram, cycling, and walking routes. TfGM's vision is for the network to be operational by 2024, with commuter rail services joining the network by 2030.[20]

Originally devised in 2018 as a network of active travel routes,[21] the vision for the Bee Network was expanded following the Greater Manchester Combined Authority's decision to use the powers given to it under the Bus Services Act 2017 to introduce a bus franchising scheme for the city region.[22] The active travel subset of the Bee Network was then renamed the Bee Active Network.[23]

Corporate identity

A TfGM bus stop in 2011 following rebranding

TfGM uses a corporate identity designed in-house. The black and white "M" logo is adapted from the GMPTE logo and is used on bus stops across Greater Manchester.

See also

  • Timeline of public passenger transport operations in Manchester


  1. "New Greater Manchester Transport Committee meets for the first time". Transport for Greater Manchester. 6 August 2019. Archived from the original on 19 February 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  2. "Salford Infrastructure Delivery Plan" (PDF). Salford City Council. February 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  3. "RATP buys Manchester Metrolink operator". Railway Gazette International. London. 2 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  4. Burnham, Andy (13 December 2017). Mayor sets out major transport overhaul (Speech). Urban Transport Group. Leeds. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  5. "Greater Manchester appoints first bus operators for new system". BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  6. "Details of the first buses under public control in Greater Manchester revealed". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  7. All change: Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive becomes Transport for Greater Manchester – with a new logo of course Archived 4 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine Manchester Evening News 1 April 2011
  8. "Arrangements for Establishing the Combined Authority" (PDF). Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). p. 4. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  9. "Draft LTP3 Consultation Proposals". Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA). p. 9. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  10. "City Region Pilot and Governance" (PDF). Manchester City Council. p. 14. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  11. "Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership – A Proposal To Government" (PDF). Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). p. 18. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  12. "City Region Pilot and Governance" (PDF). Manchester City Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  13. "City Region Governance – Consultation on Future Arrangements for Greater Manchester" (PDF). Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  14. "Review of City Region Governance in Greater Manchester" (Word). Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  15. RATP buys Manchester Metrolink operator Railway Gazette International 2 August 2011
  16. Light Rail and Tram Statistics: England 2018/19 Department for Transport (Retrieved 26 July 2020)
  17. Operators Transport for Greater Manchester
  18. Metroshuttle Archived 2 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Transport for Greater Manchester
  19. Bus Operators Transport for Greater Manchester
  20. "Destination: Bee Network". Transport for Greater Manchester. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  21. "Bee Network - Greater Manchester's cycling and walking infrastructure proposal" (PDF). Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  22. Fifield, Jack (14 February 2022). "WATCH: What is the Bee Network?". Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  23. "MCF Financial Approvals and Active Travel Funding Additions" (PDF). 27 May 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022. The fund is being used to deliver the first phase of the Bee Active Network, which is the walking and cycling element of the wider Bee Network
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