Transit Problems Across The Pond

The metro Vancouver region is not alone with financial problems with public transit.

Buses are very expensive to operate and U.K. planners and politicians have been very reluctant to fund modern trams which have proven to mitigate the high cost of public transport. Like Metro Vancouver, the transit authorities are finding it very difficult to operate a customer friendly transit service.

There are no easy answers to ease the money woes of public transit, but in Vancouver the Marie Antoinette syndrome has taken effect; “Can’t afford transit, well let them build more SkyTrain”.

From the Guardian

Bus crisis looms as councils cut services ai???at an alarming rateai??i??, campaigners say

Campaign for Better Transport report shows more than 2,000 routes reduced or withdrawn since 2010 as funding has been cu
A man boards a bus in Derby

Bus services are facing a crisis, with many councils cutting bus budgets, according to a report by the CBT. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

Half of local authorities in England and Wales are withdrawing or reducing their bus services as a result of funding cuts, according to a report from a public transport campaign group which warns that passengers face a ai???bus crisisai???.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) said that essential local services were being lost ai???at an alarming rateai???, with rural areas worst hit where communities were being cut off as route networks were destroyed by successive cuts.

Its research shows that, since 2010, local authority funding for bus services has been cut by 15% (A?44m) with more than 2,000 routes being reduced or withdrawn. In the present financial year, more than A?9m has been wiped off funding for supported services ai??i?? those subsidised by local authorities because they are not provided by commercial bus companies.

The report, Buses in Crisis, is based on Freedom of Information requests to all 110 local transport authorities in England and Wales. This is the fourth year that the CBT has monitored the impact of cuts to supported bus services in this way.

Martin Abrams, CBT public transport campaigner, said: ai???Across the country, bus services are being lost at an alarming rate. Year on year cuts to budgets mean entire networks have now disappeared, leaving many communities with little public transport and in some cases none at all. We often hear from people with heartbreaking stories, who have been effectively cut off from society following cuts to their bus

Half of English local authorities have reduced funding for bus services in 2014/15, with North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Herefordshire, Dorset, Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire making the deepest cuts, the research found.

The overall cut in support for buses in 2014/15 is A?9m, bringing the total reduction since 2010/11 to A?44m ai??i?? a 15% cut. Rural areas have been the worst hit, suffering average budget reductions of 19% this year.

In 2014/15, nearly 500 bus services were cut, altered or withdrawn, bringing the total to more than 2,000 routes since 2010. A total of 22 local authorities slashed more than 10% from their bus funding in 2014/15. Seven local authorities ai??i?? Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Stoke-on-Trent, Luton, Southend-on-Sea and Wrexham ai??i?? now spend nothing on supported bus services.

Among future plans, Derbyshire council is proposing to cut more than A?2.5m from its supported bus funding, which may include bus routes through the Derbyshire Dales constituency of the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin.

Protection of local bus services is likely to be a key issue in the general election and Labour recently launched a campaign to improve funding.

Abrams said: ai???Itai??i??s very worrying that further steep cuts in budgets are threatened next year and beyond. The government must wake up to the crisis facing buses and urgently introduce new initiatives which recognize the vital social, economic and environmental role buses

The Department for Transport said: ai???We know bus services are vital, including for many older and disabled people. That is why the government provides substantial funding, protected until 2015/16, to bus operators to help more services run and keep ticket prices down. Decisions about bus services are best made locally in partnership between councils and the companies which run the

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