Reading Buses claim the escalating cost of fuel is persuading more people to leave their car at home and travel by bus.
Figures released today by the operator reveal passenger numbers are up on a number of routes compared to the same period last year.
James Freeman, Chief Executive Officer of Reading Buses, said: “I am hearing people say for the first time that the price of fuel has gone up so much they are converting to travelling by bus.
“I haven’t heard that in 35 years in the bus industry which I consider to be very significant.”
Mr. Freeman’s experience is being reflected in the general increase in ridership across the network.
“Not every route is up – in fact some are down. But several are up very significantly which is most pleasing in the current economic climate,” he added.
According to the figures:
- Woodley passenger numbers are up by 15%
- Lower Earley up 18%
- Lower Caversham up 28%
- jetblack up 26%
- Vitality up 14%
Mr Freeman said: “This is a welcome and marked difference from the last three years during which time passenger numbers had been declining.
“The transformation is very much welcomed because it has allowed us to take the increases in fuel prices and reductions in government grants in our stride.
“The increase in passenger numbers also reflects the investment we have made in new buses, the greater stability of the network and a free flowing town centre following last year’s major upheavals.”