The Scottish Government has approved a further £42m of support for bus operators, to run up to the end of March.
Transport Scotland said the cash - covering the period 4 October to 31 March 2022 - will enable operators to maintain services while patronage recovers from the effects of COVID-19, and is in addition to maintaining concessionary reimbursement and bus service operator grant payments at pre-COVID levels.
A First bus in Glasgow, August 2021
Minister for transport Graeme Dey said: ‘Although passenger numbers have grown, additional support is still currently required. This funding means we can continue to fund operators, to fill the gap between the additional costs of running services due to COVID-19 and reduced ticket income as demand recovers.
'It is important that the public continue to plan their journeys in advance, allowing extra time to avoid busier services, and keep following the rules on the wearing of face coverings unless exempt. I’d also encourage people to keep up good habits by continuing to walk, wheel or cycle where possible. The virus hasn’t gone away, so we need everyone to play their part in keeping our transport system safe.'
Paul White, director for the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) in Scotland, said: ‘CPT welcomes the Scottish Government’s continued recognition of the vital role the bus network plays and the requirement to extend support while the impact of Covid continues to suppress passenger numbers.
‘CPT will continue to engage with the Scottish Government to ensure that bus services remain resilient and that the sector is best placed to facilitate increasing passenger journeys and play its part in other shared objectives such as decarbonisation, social inclusion and accessibility.’