What do you think about subsidised transport?

There may be some different ways of providing transport links such as:

  • demand responsive services
  • ring and ride
  • dial-a-bus
  • using community transport

We would be interested in hearing your thoughts on these options. Add your comments to this idea!

We would also like to know your views on:

  • How we can attract more passengers?
  • Are bus fares good value for money?
  • Are there any areas that have too many/too few routes?
  • Would you be in favour of reducing bus service frequency if it meant preserving a service?
  • Removing the least used services

Why the contribution is important

Our Passenger Transport team only has one statutory duty, which is to provide home to school transport. All councils across the UK have the same obligation.

In the Scottish Borders, the Council spends about £1.8m a year on subsidising local bus services. These are the service buses used by the public to access work, leisure, shopping or for just getting out and about.

The Council subsidises these routes because, unlike buses in urban places like Edinburgh and Glasgow, most buses are not commercially operated. Basically, they don’t make enough profit to be viable without financial support.

There are a few bus services in the Borders that are commercial – the X95 and X62 for example. These are popular but are in the minority.

Other councils have engaged with communities to redesign bus services.

Our Council has recently committed to preserving subsidised bus services wherever possible. Our challenge is to ensure we are providing best value for the subsidy.

by kirstychristie on November 16, 2017 at 10:17AM

Current Rating

Average score : 4.0
Based on : 1 vote


  • Posted by Geejay November 22, 2017 at 20:09

    The suggestions at the top are worth exploring. Public transport needs to comfortable, affordable, convenient, frequent or on demand, timetable at times people need them and should serve more of the remoter rural areas.

    How about smaller vehicles, such as minibuses?
  • Posted by RobinMcHood November 26, 2017 at 23:10

    I feel that public transport is a necessity in our rural areas. As it is , many people live some distance from the nearest bus route. Not sure how you could make an on demand service work in these areas as often the requirement for transport can occur with little notice.

    One item that would possibly help is for busses to have accessible cycle carriers so that at least the option of cycling to the nearest route would be viable and then having your cycle at the other end to complete your trip. This might help attract users who would otherwise use a car.
  • Posted by RobinMcHood November 26, 2017 at 23:16

    Another thing that would help with travel in our area is linking/completing traffic free cycle routes between towns and villages so that more of us can commute by bike. E.g it is possible to cycle traffic free from Innerleithen to Peebles but not beyond towards Edinburgh and nothing from Innerleithen on towards Walkerburn and Clovenfords. You can do Clovenfords on to Galashiels mostly Traffic free. Designating back roads as 'cycle routes' doesnt help as all that happens on these narrow roads is that cyclists block drivers adm the damger to cyclists on these roads is increased. Cycling on the busy main road routes in the Borders has its own dangers.
  • Posted by SuperMoon November 29, 2017 at 17:51

    Bus travel in the Borders is more expensive & less convenient than travelling by car. Significantly cheaper bus fares may encourage more passengers.
    Buses routinely carrying very few passengers is wasteful & needs addressing. Possibly by reducing the number of services per day or increasing the appeal of bus travel.
    Reserving your seat on a bus 24 hours in advance, online, would allow bus companies to calculate what size bus is required, if a particular service time is required, etc.
  • Posted by dickturpin December 11, 2017 at 16:38

    Does the Council still have a fleet of minibuses ?

    If so they could be used in some of the above mentioned ways - especially ring and ride in the local area where the minibus is located.
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