Friday, 26 March 2010

C'mon get aff the bus - ye cannae afford it!

Did you know that as of Sunday, First Bus in Glasgow are YET AGAIN increasing their fares? Soon it'll be cheaper to travel by taxi! I'm losing track of how often it's happened but I'm pretty sure there were 3 or maybe even 4 rises last year. One thing I do know is that in some areas fares on some routes have increased by a staggering 71% since 2003. In the same time, it's true that the cost of diesel has increased but by the much less significant rate of 42%.

There was me thinking we were supposed to be encouraging people to use public transport and all! Ironic really that they're doing this the day after Earth Hour which I hope everyone's taking part in.

I am a frequent user of the 38 bus. In fact it's my favourite bus and I have deemed it the single most entertaining bus I've ever been on. But it's okay for me, I can afford the increases, I have a car and I can afford to get a taxi. What if you are on a low wage or even an average wage? What if you're not just paying for you but the kids as well? What if you're unemployed and trying to get out and about and find a job?

What if you have no alternatives? Say you live in Castlemilk and you don't have a car? There is no train station so you have to get the bus. I don't know how much it is but say at this moment it's £1.60, by Sunday it'll be £1.75. As I say I don't get the bus to Castlemilk so I don't know how much it is but given that it's now £1.60 to get to Mosspark from the town, I'd say I was erring on the side of caution.

A lot of our outlying housing estates have few facilities, high unemployment and a host of other "challenges" so being able to get out and about is essential. But if First Bus are going to keep on hiking up their prices, nobody will be going anywhere.

I've put a motion down in the Scottish Parliament calling on First to get real (possibly worded slightly differently - in "Parliamo Parliamento") and introduce fair fares for Glaswegians. You can read the motion here.

You can join the campaign in 3 ways right now:

1) You can send the motion to your MSPs who you can find here and ask them to sign it.
2) You can join our Facebook Group here.
3) You can write to First Glasgow telling them what you think of their unfair fares.
You can email "The Executive Board" by clicking here. Or you can write to the following:

Mark Savelli
Managing Director
First Glasgow
197 Victoria Road
G42 7AD

I will be asking Mr Savelli for a meeting to discuss this and I'll let you know how I get on. Enough really is enough now!

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