And yet, the buses that I travel on are always more than 3/4s full, whether they are running day or night, weekday or weekend. I struggle to believe that fuel costs are increasing so exponentially that we need an inflation busting increase in bus travel as we go into a recession, a recession that is keeping the price of fuel particularly low.
Furthermore, Lothian Buses are owned by Scottish councils (91% Edinburgh council and 9% other Lothian councils) thus removing the need for a profit element, other than to better serve the needs of the travelling public.
Local transport needs to stay dirt cheap if we're serious about a joined-up approach to climate change and getting cars off streets, not to mention social inclusion. I fear the exorbitant cost of train and bus travel in Scotland is holding us back from getting where we need to be on this matter. Paying the head of Lothian Buses an eye-watering 250k a year isn't a good move either.
I suspect, given that Lothian Buses pays dividends to Edinburgh Council and makes multi-million pound profits, that it is increasingly being seen as a cash cow rather than a public service.
One can only hope it's a case of 'all change' soon.