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Author Topic: two pound maximum fare for the U.K.?  (Read 870 times)
infoman
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« on: August 16, 2022, 05:03:32 am »

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/bus-fares-could-limited-2-27747026
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2022, 06:53:38 am »

Good photo. looks as though he has just bitten the wrong sort of pickle!
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2022, 07:16:12 am »

The only problem with a 'one year cap' it only makes it worse once the cap runs out.  If he is serious about public transport, then he needs to put decent public spend into supporting it long term ...............

But then he is an opportunist like all politicians just looking after his own career
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2022, 07:59:16 am »

I get the impression that Shapps has been more active, verbally at least, since Johnson stepped down than in his previous three years as Minister of Transport. And for the same reason, does it matter what he says now? Whoever takes over as new PM will have their own preferred ministers.
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2022, 08:43:48 am »

I get the impression that Shapps has been more active, verbally at least, since Johnson stepped down than in his previous three years as Minister of Transport. And for the same reason, does it matter what he says now? Whoever takes over as new PM will have their own preferred ministers.

It may matter - it may influence whether he remains in post, is promoted, demoted or fired.  And that will affect not only him, but the departments involved, way into the future.   At this point, he 'needs' to play to Sunak, Truss and their teams of advisors.
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2022, 08:40:02 pm »

And of course this is not the UK (United Kingdom), only England. Nice idea though.
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Ralph Ayres
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2022, 11:48:07 pm »

This has been doing the rounds since early July (see https://busandtrainuser.com/2022/07/03/to-cap-it-all-a-2-limit/ for more).  Broadly it would mean a flat £2 fare for all journeys and might be simpler done like that; I can't remember the last time I paid less than £2 for a bus journey anywhere outside London. It does seem rather over-generous for longer journeys when something like a blanket 50% reduction on all journeys might achieve similar results with less subsidy. 

I wonder if he has discussed any possible negative side-effects or alternative approaches with those in the industry or with passenger representatives?  On second thoughts I don't wonder at all. Of course he hasn't.
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Hafren
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2022, 12:19:14 am »

Swansea council has been providing free travel on local buses during certain periods (mostly school holidays and possibly some bank holiday periods etc). Generally it's been applied Fri-Mon, and applies to journeys starting before 7pm. Not sure how much the 7pm rule is enforced, and it's open to interpretation – "made a connection before 7pm, and it's a leg of the same journey" - in rail that would definitely form a journey under the contract, but I suspect each leg counts as a journey in the bus world. I think those who  use the bus for work (who may already have a weekly/monthly pass for the other days and therefore don't benefit, but might do if they are hybrid/part-time workers and able to flex their days) worry about crowding; the guidance is essentially to "plan" around buses being busy, i.e. "you're on your own if you don't fit on and there isn't a later option". I suspect the 7pm rule is partly about avoiding crowding out last buses/connections. It strictly applies to ordinary local buses (not P&R (Park and Ride), long-distance etc) and to journeys entirely within the authority's area.

The advertised rationale is to encourage people to return to public transport post-Covid, but of course there are other benefits e.g. encouraging reduced car-use.

I'm wonder how the subsidy works – do the drivers count boarding passengers and the operator claim accordingly, or does the council provide a fixed subsidy based on the operator's expected usual income? Those with senior and other passes are expected to tap in as usual.

Some observations based on this, some of which would probably also apply to a subsidised low & flat fare:

• Certain buses (esp tourist routes) end up being crowded on key days, bearing in mind that there's no 'extra' provision, and probably insufficient resources to provide it. First, the dominant (but less than it was) local operator brought some routes back up to pre-Covid daytime levels, then reduced frequencies because of staffing issues (typically 4bph down to 3bph), and evening services have never returned to the old level.
• Dwell times are significantly reduced as most passengers are waved on.
• Many people aren't aware. I suspect most who are were aware before travelling knew because they already followed the council or a bus company on social media. The rest are surprised the first time they travel in the relevant offer period. And maybe then forget about it until the next time it happens, and are only reminded if they happen to travel then.


Perhaps with a low & flat fare, assuming the subsidy doesn't have some cap & collar arrangement, there would be enough additional demand generated to provide an improved service level to cater for the increased demand. Oh, dreaming again...

The dwell time improvement doesn't appear if people are paying a fixed fare. It would reduce some of the transaction time as the fare structure is significantly simplified, but if people would have bought a day ticket before, it could turn out that two singles now work out cheaper, so now they're paying on boarding both ways instead of once. On the other hand, if people just need to tap a debit card because they don't really need to specify a ticket in many cases (unless the day ticket still works out cheaper e.g. making several journeys that day) it's no slower than showing a day ticket.
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I wonder how it would work for multi-leg journeys, especially where it's a long journey connecting with a short journey where most passengers are connecting. Would they have to pay twice, when the journey is no longer than some other journeys on the 'long journey' bus.

The awareness issue would probably have a different dynamic if the cheap fares last longer than one holiday period, and all days of the week – much more opportunity for the public to catch on, especially if nation-wide.
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rogerw
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2022, 11:09:37 am »

Many bus services are being cut in the autumn following the withdrawal of government support. A £2 maximum fare is no good if you no longer have a bus service. I think that if the Government wants to help bus services and encourage the use of public transport, using the money to maintain existing services would be a far better idea
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2022, 07:29:31 am »

From The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
Bus journeys in England will be capped at £2 from January to March next year in a bid to ease the rising cost of living, the government has said.

The £60m plan could see some passengers save more than £3 per single bus ticket, according to the Department for Transport (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)).

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the move will provide "direct help" to thousands of households.

But Labour said the plan "fails to match the scale of the crisis".

Meanwhile, from Sunday, single bus fares will be capped at £2 in the Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire regions as part of longer-term schemes.

Local bus fares in England, for the quarter January to March 2022, increased by 3.6% when compared to the same period in 2021..

An average bus fare for a three-mile journey currently stands at around £2.80, meaning the new price cap would save passengers 30% of the price each time they travel, according to the DfT.

Bus operators covering more than 90% of the network in England have signed up for the scheme, the DfT said.

The first time I have such official government comment.  If funded, I would love to see it.

Questions

1. Does "local bus service" mean all journeys on any registered local bus service, or is there a new milage definition bearing in mind all the urban examples being given?  Typical bus journeys here in Wiltshire are 6 to 10 miles between towns and priced much higher that the £2.80 average

2. Do we know which operators have and have not signed up, and is there time for the remaining 10% to do so?  Is there a financial encouragement for them to do so?   If the there is such a financial encourgment, is there funding for it, or could it lead to the loss of supported but routes as local transport authorities struggle to balance the books?
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ellendune
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2022, 09:09:32 am »

A bus journey from here to Swindon Town Centre would be cheaper, but I hardly ever go there, so any journeys I do involve a change in the Town Centre so it would be 2 single journeys would it?

The 5 miles to the office would take 1 hour by bus with two buses  and a significant walk at the other end.  In the car I can do it in 10-15 minutes depending on the traffic.  I could actually walk it in 1.5 hours.

Yesterday I went to the hospital.  That would have been 2 bus journeys.  Although the bus journey is only 45-60 minutes, I would have had to leave half an hour earlier to get there on time due to the gaps in the timetable.  Similar problem on the way back.  So I would have to leave at 11:45 and get back at 2:46.  That's 3 hours for a 20 minute appointment.  By car I left at 12:45 and was back by 1:45. In addition to the fuel I had to pay £1.10 for the car park. 

That is why I don't use the buses. 
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stuving
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2022, 05:14:07 pm »

This is DfT» (Department for Transport - about)'s news item about this, from 3/9/22. It doesn't have all the details in it, instead it says they are still working on that:
Quote
...Introducing the fare cap by January enables the government to work with operators and local authorities to implement a scheme that most effectively delivers real savings for passengers. Operators representing around 90% of the bus market have expressed support for the scheme and we hope that all bus operators will participate.

The fare cap builds on lots of offers around the country in areas with high bus demand, which include daily, weekly and monthly ticket options and promotional offers. Single fares which are already lower than £2 will not be affected by the cap.

The government will continue to work closely with bus operators and local authorities and consider future support to help passengers continue accessing reliable and affordable bus services after March.

A flat-rate bus pilot scheme, backed by £23.5 million of government funding, launched in Cornwall this January and has already seen an indicative 10% increase in passenger numbers. The ‘Any Ticket Any Bus’ scheme, running over 4 years, includes a £3 day ticket within towns or a £9 day ticket across all of Cornwall, which is valid across different bus operators...
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FarWestJohn
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2022, 07:04:49 pm »

In Cornwall the any bus any operator anywhere adult all day ticket is £5 and family £10.
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Mark A
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2022, 12:10:38 pm »


AKA (also known as) Two pound minimum fare 'cos in Bath it killed the three stop hop fare.

Mark
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