NIBS Buses

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Nibs News

How we choose to offer bus services

We are often asked to provide a new service for areas that don’t have the level of service the community desires. We thought it would be useful to set out the background to how we choose to operate (or not operate) any particular service. Bus services are a strange mix of public service and private business. The majority of bus services outside London are provided by private business on an entrepreneurial basis. Every possible route is considered by each bus company with a mind to provide a service. Companies consider whether they are likely to make a return on their costs if they operate a service along each route. Companies have to decide what frequency of service to offer; A service with a high frequency will require more buses, drivers and fuel but may encourage more passengers to use the service. In turn this may provide a greater return for the company (or not). It’s also up to operators to choose what fares to charge. Higher fares will discourage passengers from travelling but fares have to cover all of the costs of running the service. It’s also important to make sure services are profitable, otherwise there can be no investment and no purpose in offering the service. There is no security for the operator who is providing a particular service. Any other operator can provide a service along all, or part of, another operator’s service if it thinks that it can carry enough passengers to cover its costs. Operators are not allowed to agree to collude to restrict an open market either by agreeing frequencies, routes or fares. If a service is not likely to be viable commercially the local authority can choose to provide a service for its residents. In this case the authority will normally tender the service to ensure that it obtains best value for its limited budget. Given that there will normally be more demands for services than budget available the authority will have guidelines to ensure that it is procuring the services that are most needed. If you wish to contact us about any of our services or any service that you think we could operate you can send us an email or call us by phone.


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