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On 23rd of August 2019, we took T9 Cardiff bus from Airport to City centre. The driver didn’t charge anyone any money.

I even asked to make a cash payment and he very graciously said Since I know you, you ride for free today.

Even though I know that was a joke, everybody did ride for free. Why would that be so? Even other passengers were wondering. One reason I could guess was the for some distance the road was under construction and was causing regular delays to the service.

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    TransCymru are offering free weekend travel at the moment. I'm not sure how that relates to Friday 23rd, but this is a bank holiday weekend so maybe they extended the offer this week.
    – user90371
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 19:12
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    That’s it. Would you like to add it as an answer? Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 10:29
  • I couldn't find anything authoritative to support my speculation. If you have a link to something concrete go ahead and post your own answer.
    – user90371
    Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 11:06

2 Answers 2

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The T9 bus service is part of the Welsh Government's TrawsCymru regional bus network, though I believe Cardiff Bus are contracted to operate that service for them. (All TrawsCymru services are numbered with a 'T' prefix.) Funding and ticketing is separate to Cardiff Bus' other operations, though.

From July 2017, weekend travel on TrawsCymru routes was made free of charge, including the T9 route between Cardiff and the airport. The scheme was originally due to run until May 2018, but was later extended. (It is currently suspended due to Covid issues.)

The 23rd of August 2019 was a Friday, so the service shouldn't have been offered free of charge on that day (but would have been on the 24th). Perhaps you were on an overnight flight that arrived on the morning of the 24th? I wouldn't expect that the driver would be offering free travel on other days of the week, as the Welsh Government was only reimbursing operators for free travel on the weekend.

The friendly, jocular nature of the bus driver's explanation is typical of the Cardiff area, where passengers are noted for saying "Cheers, Drive" as they disembark.

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  • "Cheers, Driver" presumably rather than an exhortation to drive Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 1:35
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    "Drive" is a local (also used around Bristol etc) dialect word for driver. @MartinSmith
    – CMaster
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 8:30
  • Every day is a schoolday! Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 8:32
  • @MartinSmith Cardiff Bus themselves acknowledge it, see the image in: inyourarea.co.uk/news/…
    – Kaz
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 10:02
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One reason may be the ticket machine wasn't working, and the driver (either by law, or company policy) cannot receive payment without issuing a ticket (receipt).

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