The news is generally not good when it comes to bus services:
But there are some initiatives out there:
The Rural Services Network carries two stories on where we are now with bus services:
BUS TRAVEL TRAPPED IN EXPENSIVE CYCLE
I news reports on research showing that bus travel costs are rising faster than the cost of driving, discouraging passengers from travelling by public transport.
Statistics from the Department for Transport found that 4.31 billion local bus journeys were made in the year ending September 2018, a 2.1 per cent decrease on the previous year.
Michael Waterson, an economics professor at the University of Warwick, noted that this is despite people travelling more.
He said that a drop in the number of users has meant that those who continue to use services are forced to shoulder the costs. He added: ‘Buses tend to be used more intensely by people who do not have alternatives, and those who are on relatively low incomes, so there is a clear distributional issue.’ According to Waterson, urban bus services are more affected by ‘declining patronage on commercial routes’ whilst ‘rural services are differentially affected by cuts to subsidies’.
GOVERNMENT INVESTS IN RURAL BUS SERVICE
IT Pro and Yahoo News report that the Department for Transport is hoping to transform rural bus services with a digital system that opens up bus location data to developers.
Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani announced £4 million, part of the Future of Mobility strategy, to create a platform to provide better information to passengers about when buses will arrive.
She said: ‘People expect to turn up to a bus stop knowing when their next service will arrive, particularly in rural areas… We’re investing in systems to make it easier for people to find out where their bus is, how much it will cost and how long it will take.’
The Department for Transport found that one of the barriers to young people using buses is not having information readily available on their phones.