This report explores a range of factors relevant to bus patronage decline, under the themes of social and economic change; alternatives to the bus; and public attitudes to bus travel.
It finds that changing travel habits as a result of different lifestyles and working patterns, wider demographic and economic shifts, the rise of on-demand services, exemplified by runaway growth in Private Hire Vehicles, are amongst the many background factors affecting patronage.
The report also looks at areas where bus use is high or is growing and seeks to draw some initial conclusions about common denominators.
The bus is key to achieving 46 policy goals of 12 of the 24 Departments across Whitehall including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury, Department of Health, Department for Education and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This report shows how, despite these cross sector benefits, all the main forms of funding for bus services are under severe pressure and sets out how bus funding can be reformed.