PRICE hikes in Glasgow bus fares now mean that for some short journeys it is cheaper for families living in the city to take a taxi than catch the bus. It's not just a Glasgow problem - across Scotland fares have increased by almost 20 percent in five years, with many tickets rising much more. With wages stagnating and the use of zero hours contracts commonplace, increases like this are really beginning to bite for working families.

Though 30 percent of Scots don’t own a car, figures show the number of bus journeys fell from 436 million in 2011-12 to 409 million in 2015-16, with estimates of a further fall to 393 million last year. Put simply, the people who most depend on using the bus are being priced out of using the service.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Lothian buses, which is run by the local authority and offers value for money has seen passengers numbers increase, investing profits in green buses and hiring more drivers. Several local authorities are understood to be tempted by the model.

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The Scottish Government has recognised the problems with a report on how to improve local bus services due later this year. Campaigners have great hopes that bus companies will be brought to heel with people in Scotland - and their need for affordable and effective transport – put firmly before the profit of bus operators. The Scottish Government must not let them down.