Manchester Tram Guide

Apr 26, 2022
Manchester Tram Guide

If you’re planning a trip to Manchester or are considering moving here for good, you’ll be pleased to know that the city boasts an excellent public transport system. You can get around by bus, train and tram - the so-called Metrolink network. This light rail link is the fastest way to travel across the city, with frequent services connecting 99 stops. So, if you’re coming on a day trip from Liverpool or Leeds and want to know what the most effective means of transport is, read on as we explain everything you need to know.

How to ride the Manchester Metrolink

Owned by the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Manchester Metrolink is the UK’s longest light rail network, extending 65 miles.

The network consists of eight lines, spreading from Manchester city centre to the metropolitan areas with termini at Altrincham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, East Didsbury, Eccles, Manchester Airport, Rochdale and Trafford Centre. Nine services run every 12 minutes, with some combined frequency being approximately 6 minutes on specified routes:

  • Altrincham – Bury
  • Altrincham – Piccadilly
  • Ashton-under-Lyne – Eccles
  • Eithad Campus – MediaCityUK
  • Bury – Piccadilly
  • East Didsbury – Rochdale town centre
  • East Didsbury – Shaw and Crompton
  • The Trafford Centre – Cornbrook
  • Manchester Airport – Victoria

All services operate from Monday to Saturday between 06:00 am to 00:00 and from 07:00 am to 00:00 on Sundays. Exceptions apply to the Altrincham – Bury and the East Didsbury – Shaw and Crompton lines, where services run from Monday to Friday between 07:00 am to 08:00 pm and between 09:00 am and 06:30 pm on Saturdays.

In terms of fares, the Metrolink has four main zones, each with its own price structure. Single journeys in Zone 1, which covers the whole city centre, begin at £1,40 per adult. If you need to travel from Zone 1 to Zone 4, tickets are £3,80. If you’re planning to use public transport frequently, you might want to purchase a single-day travel card.

Transferring between different lines is easy, as most intersect at various points. Since ticket prices are determined by zones, there is no additional cost when changing lines.