Local leaders from across Greater Manchester are urging residents to take part in in the Doing Buses Differently consultation before it closes at the end of January.
The consultation closes at midnight on Friday 29th January to gather views on the impact of Covid-19 on travel and GMCA’s proposals for the bus network.
A previous consultation carried out before the pandemic showed overwhelming support for franchising plans. Since the first lockdown in March 2020, passenger numbers have fallen due as workplaces and educational institutions shifted online. Despite this, bus travel still accounts for three-quarters of public transport journeys made in Greater Manchester and remain a critical link for access to jobs and essential services for many of the city-region’s most vulnerable communities and those without a car.
Currently in Greater Manchester buses are run by commercial bus companies who?decide the routes,?timetables, tickets?and standards. There is no coordination and limited oversight. In areas they don’t run?services, the public sector pays to fill in the gaps in the market,?where it can.?
Between October 2019 and January 2020, GMCA held a consultation on a proposed franchising scheme for the city-region’s buses. Under franchising, bus services would be brought under local control. GMCA would coordinate and invest in the bus network based on the services passengers need. The bus operators would be contracted by GMCA to run the services.
Following the consultation the responses will be independently analysed and reported to GMCA, who will consider the responses alongside the outcome of the previous consultation and investigations into the impact of Covid-19 on plans.
The outcome of both consultations will then be considered as part of the final decision by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, on whether to implement the proposed franchising scheme.
Further information and details on how to participate in the Doing Buses Differently consultation are available online.