Got a small shock on the bus today finding out the bus fare had gone up, expected, around 20%, size not expected.
There are two questions, why and what effect will it have ?
Why is easy, I suspect increased fuel costs being passed on, and with some many users having free bus passes, it won't alienate much of their clientèle. A quick check of the profits of First Group http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-15654551 shows them to be healthy, not surprising as it is an monopoly.
What effect ? As I have already suggest I suspect not much amongst the current clientèle, but amongst those possible converts from the car ? You can already see the outcry, How much ! It only costs me ... to drive, fill in as appropriate. That is not going to help us who believe in a greener future.
It makes me interested with peak oil coming shortly, for an explanation see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil, what can the council do ? Well actually nothing, we have no powers, that horrible woman Thatcher again. Not quite true, actually a little. We have powers to do what we want for the economic and social well-being of the area. So in theory we could set up a bus company if we wanted, and make it cheaper, but could we as a council make it work ? Sadly the answer is probably no. as with running the Spa, being run by an excellent company. First is good at what it does, it does cut corners, still get lots of complaints about the early 14, but the council doesn't have that expertise. The council would run a worse service. We are stuck with what we have got, a good company, but high prices, no carrot to turn away from the motor car.
It is sad that yet again the environment is subject to the whim of shareholders who want the maximum return.