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Terms and Conditions applicable from 1 September 2017

Exact fares

The fares on Reading Buses are specially set to make them simple to use. Most of our buses are equipped with a fare box into which you drop the fare to be paid. On these buses, we are not able to give change so please ensure that you have the correct money available.

Jet black 1, lime 2, leopard 3, lion 4, route 7, pink 25 and greenwave buses are not fitted with fare boxes therefore are able to provide change. In the simplyReading area, these buses have a flat fare, but any that leave the simplyReading area will then operate a graduated fare system thereafter.

Single fares

Reading Buses operates a flat fare policy to make things easier for our customers and safer for our drivers.

The flat single fare in the simplyReading area is £2.00 for adults and £1.50 Boost (18 and under or 21 and under if you're a local college or university student )

7, 30, 90 and 365 day period smartcard tickets are valid for the number of consecutive days from the date of validation of first use on the bus. These smartcards can be bought and topped up online here.

Please note, due to the nature of the cards, a 365 day card cannot be topped up online - either go to the bus shop or buy a new card online. The annual cards also have a fixed start date - unlike other period passes, they are already active once bought and don't wait until first use. This is due to the technical specifications of this card. 

Zonal boundaries

We have three areas to make your fares simpler.  They are simplyReading, simplyNetwork and simplyNewbury & Thatcham 

simplyReading covers most of our network in the Greater Reading area and the boundary points (the last stops within the boundary) are named as follows: Abbey RFC for pink 25 in North Reading, Burghfield Golf Course for lime 2 in South West Reading, Three Mile Cross for 82 & 82k, The Crown at Theale for jet black 1 and Ducketts Farm on the leopard 3. 

To view a clear map of the boundaries please click here.

simplyNetwork covers all of our Network including jet black1 , lime 2, leopard 3, lion 4, service 7 and pink 25.

simplyNewbury & Thatcham is the area bounded by the stops at Shaw Cemetery, Panasonic Colthrop, Greenham Business Park, Enbourne Road, Stockcross.

Day tickets

simplyReading day tickets are are available for unlimited travel on the day of issue on all services that operate within the simplyReading area and are valid until 4 am the following morning - including night buses.  Please note that the day and date of issue is defined as before or after midnight and is pre-set by the ticket machine. They are not valid on Football Services or Loddon Bridge. 

simplyReading Group tickets are defined as up to four people, any combination of adults and children, and are available for unlimited travel on the day of issue on all services that operate within the simplyReading area.

simplyNewbury & Thatcham day tickets are available for unlimited travel on all Newbury Buses services within the Newbury/Thatcham Zonal Area on the day of issue. There is no group version of this ticket.

simplyNetwork day tickets are issued on all local services operated by Reading Buses. They may be used for any journey on the day of issue operated by Reading Buses.

Please note that  day and group tickets bought between midnight and 3.59am will only be valid until 4am. Any ticket bought after 4am up to 11.59pm will be valid until 4am the following morning.

Day tickets


simplyReading zone

Day tickets can be purchased from the driver in the simplyReading zone or our mobile app and gives you unlimited travel within the simplyReading area on the day of purchase. You will need to scan your ticket upon getting on the bus to validate it. Please note that day tickets are only valid for travel on the day of purchase unless stated otherwise.  

Common Area

You may travel across a common area that is covered by more than one of our bus services. For example you may have caught yellow 26 to work in the morning but wish to catch jet black home again.  

simplyNetwork zone

Return fares are available at all times on jet black 1, lime 2, leopard 3, lion 4 and service 7.

Boost - 18 & under

Boost return tickets are available on jet black 1, lime 2, leopard 3, lion 4 and service 7 outside of the simplyReading area. In the simplyReading area, all services issue Boost day tickets instead of returns and these can be used all day. 


Concessionary permits are valid for travel within the criteria set down by your issuing authority.  For more guidance please refer directly to the appropriate authority.

18 & under - Boost

Under 5s

Children under 5 years of age may accompany any fare paying customer (adult or boost) free of charge. A fare paying passenger may have up to 2 under-5s travelling with them for free - any additional children will be charged at the appropriate boost rate. 

From age 5-18

Young passengers aged from 5 until their 19th birthday will be charged the appropriate boost fare. You can find out more about boost here.

From age 19 - 21

You can purchase boost products if you're under 21 and can show a valid local college or university ID card.

Night buses

The fare for night buses are now the normal day time fare. This means that most single journeys are £2 for adults. If the day time fare is £1.20 on a section of route, this applies to night buses. The great news is that you can now use your day, group and period tickets on night buses!

Holders of valid PlusBus tickets may travel free on night buses at any time.

Concessionary and access passes are not accepted on night buses except on Christmas and New Years eve before 11.00 pm - this is due to the terms and conditions of those passes as set down by government. For more information, please contact your local authority.

Behaviour on buses

There is a small minority whose poor behaviour causes distress and offence to other customers on our services. As well as being unpleasant, bad behaviour can sometimes escalate into dangerous situations which can endanger other people’s safety. We ask our customers to behave in a manner befitting travelling in a public environment.
Click here for more information.

smoking - normal and e-cigarettes

We have a no smoking policy on all of our buses. This includes all types of cigarette, cigar, pipes and any other smoking material. This also includes any other type of e-cigarette, including 'vaper' sticks.  

Bus passes for over 60s

If you are over 60 years old you may be eligible for a free bus pass. These passes are issued by your local council. For more details, please contact the council for the area you live in.

Smartcard Terms and Conditions

All smartcards remain the property of Reading Buses and their subsidary agent (Unicard). All cards are ITSO compliant and therefore are also covered by ITSO rules and regulations.

Smartcards are non-transferrable and should only be used by the person they are intended for. This may be the person who purchases or tops-up the card or another person for whom the card has been bought or topped-up. In all cases smartcards can only be used by one person per journey and cannot be passed back to be used by another. In the case of e-purse transactions, the 'owner' of the card should purchase the required tickets for all parties to avoid confusion.

In all cases, unless stated otherwise, period tickets (7, 30, 90 & 365 days) are valid for travel on consecutive days only. Smartcard products will active from the first trip on bus and then 'count down' the days remaining. Should you choose not to travel after activating the product on your card, you will still lose the days that you haven't travelled. If you want to travel on different days, then you must purchase a multi-trip ticket (easysaver10 for adults, boostsaver10 for 18 and under ). Multi-trip tickets only deduct the single trip you are making off the smartcard and will then store the remaining journeys until you use them.  

It is against Reading Buses policy for cards to be copied or cloned. Any attempt to do so may result in legal action.

You may also purchase smartcards through the Bus to Work Scheme. This offers a discount for people whose employers have signed up to our corporate travel club. Please contact your HR representative for details if your organisation is in the Bus to Work scheme.

Refund Policy

Refunds will be considered upon written request and surrender of the appropriate ticket.  We will calculate the cost of the value of the ticket portion used based on the best available alternative ticket you would have been able to purchase at the date the ticket was purchased for the period it was used, plus a £10 administration fee. Written requests, enclosing the ticket for refund and your full contact details should be sent to: Customer Services, Great Knollys Street, READING, RG1 7HH.

For refunds as part of the Bus to Work scheme, please email