By KLTV Newsdesk –
In a bid to alleviate the financial burden on passengers and ensure the stability of the bus sector, the UK government has extended the £2 bus fare cap until October 31, with a subsequent increase to £2.50 until November 2024.
This move comes alongside a fresh injection of £300 million in government investment to safeguard bus services until 2025 and maintain affordable travel options.
Since March 2020, the government has invested over £3.5 billion in the bus sector.
The funding, totalling £500 million, aims to support millions of passengers across England by enabling them to continue benefiting from the “Get Around for £2” initiative, which has played a crucial role in reducing the cost of living.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper emphasized the significance of these measures, as they ensure the preservation of vital routes that people rely on for work, education, medical appointments, and shopping.
To address the cost of living pressures and assist individuals in reducing everyday travel expenses, the government will allocate up to £200 million to extend the cap on single bus fares to £2 outside of London until the end of October 2023.
From there, until November 30, 2024, the fare cap will increase to £2.50. The government will review the effectiveness of these measures and future bus fares at the end of that period.
This extended fare cap aims to provide bus users with certainty and serves as part of the government’s Help for Households initiative to mitigate the impact of increased living costs, particularly benefiting those who rely on buses for transportation.
The decision to extend the fare cap comes in light of the significant decline in bus usage during the pandemic, plummeting to as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels.
While passenger levels have since recovered to approximately 85 to 90%, the fare cap aims to encourage more people to return to using buses, which can subsequently alleviate congestion and reduce emissions.
Accessible and Affordable
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “By extending the £2 fare cap, we’re making sure bus travel remains accessible and affordable for everyone while helping to ease cost of living pressures.
“Buses connect our communities and play a vital role in growing the economy; they transport people to work, take our kids to school, and make sure patients can get to doctors’ appointments.
“That’s why we’re determined to protect local routes and encourage more people onto the bus, ensuring people can get around easily and in an affordable way.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper also highlighted the significance of buses, stating, “Taking the bus is the most popular form of public transport, and millions of people rely on these vital services every day.
“That’s why we’re investing half a billion pounds to help people save money amid cost of living pressures and continue to level up transport in all parts of the country, doing our bit to help halve inflation and grow the economy.”