Glasgow takes first step towards publicly-owned bus service

Glasgow councillors have taken the “crucial” first step in creating a publicly owned eco-friendly bus service to transform travel experiences for residents and visitors alike.

During yesterday’s environment and sustainability committee, members agreed to push forward the development of an affordable public transport system that would link together diverse communities across the city over the next seven years.

The project, which would cost between £4 million and £15 million, aims to provide faster bus journey times, fewer delays, a more inclusive and safer network, cheaper fares as well as greener journeys.

Councillors have also committed to improve bus services in the city year on year by working with the Glasgow Bus Partnership, set up to reduce congestion and improve journey times, to secure wider benefits for users including a better fee structure.

Glasgow could soon run its own bus service.Glasgow could soon run its own bus service.
Glasgow could soon run its own bus service.

They are also continuing to develop the Clyde Metro concept which would improve connectivity in and around the city by up to 15km.

During the meeting, councillor Holly Bruce, said: “I think it is really good to see that we have pulled some positives from this and there is clear political will now for public ownership of bus companies.

“I know that we can’t come out and say that is what we want right now and there are franchising models and business cases to look into.

“But, we are clear about what we want, we want a bus service that is integrated, affordable and sustainable.”

The Glasgow Bus Partnership has already successfully applied for funding from the Transport Scotland Bus Partnership Fund and £3.65m is now in the process of being delivered across the region and city to improve public transport.

The money will be used for improving routes, creating integrated ticketing systems and fare capping, improved public service and data evaluation.

Proposals will now be presented to members at the next city administration committee meeting.

Following yesterday’s discussion, SNP councillor Angus Millar, Glasgow’s city convener for transport, said: “I welcome today’s crucial first step in exploring what publicly-controlled bus services could look like in Glasgow.

“The incoming Transport Act has the potential to change the landscape for how bus services are operated in Scotland and Glasgow has to be ready for that.

“The powers, when they are enacted, won’t mean the bus sector just changes overnight – there’s a huge amount of work to do to build a robust business case for change and scope out how a new model for the future of buses in Glasgow could develop.

“In the meantime, as we look to take forward this important work, we are keen to work in partnership with operators over the shorter term to deliver improvements to Glasgow’s bus services now.”

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