Monday, 6 December 2010
Cheaper bus tickets and hybrid buses
Last week I was invited along to Reading Buses. Top of my wish list and one of my first questions was on cheaper bus tickets. As whilst no one can deny that we get a good service -- most of the time -- from the likes of the 17, £1.70 for a trip from Cemetery Junction into the town centre does seem expensive. I put this to Reading Buses CEO James Freeman and I was pleasantly surprised by his response. He informed me that Reading Buses is sympathetic to this issue, but it is a consequence of the current flat rate. However Reading Buses is currently trialling a £1.00 ticket on some of its routes when you board the bus close to the town centre. He said that there is already a £1.00 ticket from the hospital into the town centre for example. He wouldn't be drawn on exactly when we will get this at Cemetery Junction, but I think that this is a great idea and will keep the pressure on.
We chatted about a variety of other things before I got a tour of the depot and a lift home on one of the new hybrid buses. They are like the Prius (car) in that they have both a diesel and electric engine. The electric engine responsible for moving the bus around and is charged when the bus slows down for example. The diesel engine powers some of the technology on the bus. This means less fuel, so they are cheaper to run and better for the environment.