What to expect of Manchester and the UK

I have some pictures to show you!

They are what our staffs and student ambassadors will be wearing on Welcome Week and at the airport for pick-up service. Make sure you remember what they look like so you know who to ask for help (we are wearing purple so it’s easy to spot us!!).


Part 3 – Public Transport

The University of Manchester is not a campus university, its’ campus is built within the city of Manchester (called a city university). What this means is that the university is based in the central area of Manchester rather than in some rural area far from town with its’ big campus (called a campus university). There are pros and cons of being a city university but we are not going to discuss that today… maybe in another post though🙂.

The UoM was the result of two universities (UMIST and Victoria University of Manchester) merging together back in 2004. This separates the campus of UoM into the north (formerly UMIST) and south (formerly Victoria University of Manchester) campus. North campus is located closer to the city centre but the south campus is located on one of the busiest bus routes in the UK. It takes around 15 minutes to walk from south campus to north campus. With the convenient locations of both campuses, no matter where you live you will be able to get to campus with ease and how you can do it is what I will be talking about today 🙂.

Public transport within the city

  • Bus – like most cities in the UK the most common transportation method is by bus
    • There are many companies with buses operating in Manchester, but the company with the most buses operating in Manchester is Stagecoach (another big company is the First group). Therefore I will only be discussing the fare prices and term tickers of Stagecoach.
    • There are different types of tickets you can get. If you are just travelling from one place to another for once, then you can go on the bus and ask for a single ride to the place you are going to. You need to say where you are getting off because the fare price is based on how far you are travelling.
    • There are no return tickets available for buses, but an all-day unlimited rides ticket is available. You simply just tell the bus driver that you want a ‘dayrider’ and pay.
    • The more economical day rider is £3.60 and you can get access to limited routes but if you are travelling on Oxford road and within university buildings then this is a good option.
    • The normal day rider cost £4.50 and this allows you to get on any Stagecoach bus within the Greater Manchester region.
    • If you plan to travel many times for a week then you can also get a 7day ticket called the ‘megarider’ and this will cost you £8 or £12 (the more expensive one will allow you to go on more buses).
    • For term passes, this is most valuable for those who live far away enough to require travelling by bus to uni every day. There are various plans and term tickets will allow you to get on any bus (basically 90% of the buses available in Manchester) within Greater Manchester that is under the Stagecoach company.
    • Below are the plans they offer
    • tics
    • How does it work? You can buy it online here and have them send you a plastic card (only do it when you are in the UK). This plastic card will have your ticket stored digitally, you can use it by tapping it on the machine when you get on the bus.
    • The ‘magic bus’ is a yellow and blue double-decker bus and a typical Stagecoach bus can be either blue and white or green and white. The magic bus is cheaper and has a uniform fare price for single journeys so it cost the same no matter where you go (£1.50 for single, £3.60 for a whole day, £8 for a whole week).
    • One more thing I want to say is the bus route 147 is free for all students, just show your student ID to the bus driver when you get on.
    • Here is what a typical Manchester bus looks like.IMG_0326 copy.jpg
  • Taxi/Uber
    • Most bus routes will stop operating from 12am – 6am
    • The popular bus routes will continue to run at late night with longer waiting time in between.
    • If you plan to travel at night time then Uber or black cabs will be your best options, but of course much more expensive.
    • Download the Uber app when you are in the UK just in case you need it one day… like when you are drunk after a night out, or for whatever reasons you may have. You will thank yourself for doing it when you need a taxi immediately.
  • Tram
    • There are trams available in the city, but they don’t go through our campus so it’s not the most popular way for students to travel.
    • You will see them in the city centre and may want to give it a ride because they look really fun hahaha.
    • Here is a picture of a tram in Manchester.ManchesterUniversity--190.jpg

Intercity transport

  • Coach – relatively cheap and convenient way to travel across cities. Very ideal for when you are travelling to another city that is close by (Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, etc.).
    • The biggest company with the widest range of service is the National Express, they have services to and from Manchester across the country
    • Not ideal for long distance travel as seats are not comfy to nap in and many other reasons (smelly toilet on some buses… sometimes🤢🤢).
    • Fares vary from where you are going but they are generally very affordable.
    • If you are looking for even more affordable coaches then you can write down ‘Megabus’ on your notebook. It is a branch under Stagecoach and they offer very very very cheap rides from Manchester to London and other cities (takes about 5 hours to arrive). Although it is cheap (around £10 normally), the destinations are very limited. You can check out more on their official site
    • National express official site
  • Train – this is the most convenient and the fastest way to get to any major cities in the UK. The trade-off is it’s much more expensive.
    • Trainline is an amazing website you can use to book your tickets (you can also book tickets for the coach with National Express here). They also have a mobile app to plan and book your journey. Tickets will be sent directly to your email and your app as a QR code and then you can scan it to get on the train.
    • There are 2 stations close to our campus. Piccadilly station and Oxford Road.
    • One more big station is the Victoria Station, it is in the city centre and further away from our campus.
    • Piccadilly station is one of the busiest stations in the country and has trains directly to many of the major cities in the UK.
    • Oxford station is one stop away from Piccadilly; it is closer to our campus so you can also choose to travel here.

Overall, it is relatively easy to get to where you want without a car in Manchester. Although I do think all the options are a bit expensive, that’s what you get for having the convenience (I guess ??🤔). I didn’t mention what number bus you need to take, this is for you to figure out as you spend your time here. Many of the halls in Manchester are all within walking distance to the campus, if you do get the halls that are far away then you can try to find accommodations closer to our campus for the second year. This way you can utilise our 24-hour facilities (mainly the Ali G).

When you first arrive, you will struggle with directions and how to get to certain places. For this problem, you can use Google Map to guide you, they will even tell you what bus to take and how to get to the bus stop. Another useful app is Citymapper. Both apps work for other cities as well so when you are travelling to other places, they will come in very handy.

This is all I have to say about public transport, as usual, thank you for your time reading and any questions just leave it as a comment and I will answer them as soon as I can. Thank you

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