Take buses under public control
We finally have the powers to franchise the buses. It’s a legal process that takes some years, and I’ll weigh the evidence as part of the process. In effect it means the Mayoral Transport Authority will specify timetables, routes and fares. But it does mean paying a bus company to run the bus, so we must increase passenger numbers.
Bus improvements on the road, including smart traffic signals that prioritise buses, and smart phone ticketing will speed journeys up, so buses are almost as quick as cars – and without the need to park.
Private bus companies like to cherry pick the most profitable routes and times. Bringing all the buses into one system means we can cross-subsidise routes, giving them time to build up their passenger numbers. As more destinations are part of the network, passenger numbers increase further, making previously uneconomic routes viable. This can only be done by bringing the buses into public control.
In time I would like to create a community and worker owned bus company, so we don’t face privatisation by a future Tory government that could deregulate buses and undo all our good work.