For most of the university areas the main mode of public transport is the bus.
One question which often pops up is what bus pass to buy. This depends where you live and how much you intend to travel in Manchester. If you never venture of Oxford/Wilmslow Road I would say get a Finglands/Magic Bus/Stagecoach weekly pass as they tend to be cheap. However you will be limited to buses operated by that company - with the exception that Stagecoach passes are valid on Magic Buses (as they are both owned by Stagecoach).
If you intend to travel across all of Manchester then a GMPTE System 1 pass is worth buying, but they cost about £10 a week, they do allow you to get on any bus in Greater Manchester regardless of the bus company though.
Some links to bus company sites which operate in the university areas. You should have an idea which areas they go to by the areas I have put in brackets the areas they tend to operate in.
- Stagecoach - South and East Manchester,- Wilsmlow Road, Stockport, Chorlton, Trafford Centre, Stretford, Old Trafford, Northenden, Wythenshawe etc
- Bullocks - Oxford Road, Fallowfield, Withington, East Didsbury, Cheadle
- Finglands - Oxford Road, Fallowfield, Withington, East Didsbury]
- First group - Salford and North Manchester - University of Salford, Swinton, Bolton, Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale etc
- arrivabus South Manchester – Stretford, Sale, Altrincham, Cheadle, Macclesfield, Wythenshawe
- gmpte – This is the main government body which controls transport in Greater Manchester, this has a great route planner if you are unsure which bus to get. There is also information about GMPTE travel passes.
Major Bus Routes
Manchester is a huge place so this guide will concentrate on some of the more major routes.
- MMU and Manchester University from Piccadilly Bus Station (PBS) – 15, 42, 43,45, 85*, 86*, 142, 143, 145
- Fallowfield, Withington, Didsbury, East Didsbury from PBS – 42, 142, 45
- Fallowfield, Withington, Northenden from PSB – 43, 143
- Chorlton Cum Hardy from PSB – 85 from the east of Chorlton, 86 from the North, the 86 covers more of the centre of Chorlton
- Trafford Centre – 23, 23A Stagecoach) from Didsbury or Chorlton, 250 from Oxford Road or Booth Street West(not Rushulme, Fallowfield etc run by Stagecoach and UK North), 100 (Firstbus) from Cross Street (will be the new interexchange at Victoria station from Jan 2006)
- Stockport – 23, 23A from Chorlton or Didsbury, 42 from Oxford/Wilmslow Road or 192 from Piccadilly.
*RNCM and MMU only
Most Manchester trains depart from Victoria or Piccadilly but if you're unsure Piccadilly is the safer option. Some trains stop at Oxford Road, e.g the Liverpool, Southport and Blackpool ones.
Some trains also stop at Salford Crescent but if you're going to Salford University from Manchester city centre its easier to get the bus.
All London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Southern England services depart from Piccadilly.
Manchester has an extensive tram system, however it doesnt operate in the main university areas. This map shows where it currently operates, beware only the green lines currently exist, the rest is planned for the future.
The trams are great if traveling from some where like Bury or Altrincham. The Tram is also ideal for Salford Quays. Its expensive however.