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Just a few paragraphs at the end of an excellent article by Brian Wheeler.
Posted on 02/27/2012 | Permalink
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Nice article except it is wrong about how much intercity buses are subsidized.
They're extremely subsidized -- they do not pay anything close to the right amount to maintain the highways they use. That burden is laid onto the general highway fund, which has been going broke for quite some time, and is being supported by direct infusions of cash from other revenues. The taxpayer pays for the infrastructure that the "$1 ticket" buses use.
02/27/2012 at 07:41
Interesting comment by Matthew. In the UK trunk roads and motorways are funded from general taxation. In addition, every vehicle owner must purchase an annual Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) disk which must be displayed in the windscreen. The amount payable depends on the amount of co2 and particulate emissions, thus small fuel efficient engines attract a lower charge.
This raises huge amounts of money for the UK Treasury. Unfortunately the money goes into government coffers and only a fraction is spent on road maintenance.
Local roads are funded by residents who pay 'Council tax' to local councils based on notional property values.
All local bus services receive Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG)which is a rebate on fuel duty paid. 80% of mileage operated is on a commercial basis where BSOG is the only subsidy received. Tendered services receive additional payment from local authorities to cover operators' losses.
The UK has a comprehensive express coach network. In England and Wales the largest operator is National Express, with Stagecoach's Megabus competing on some routes.
We also have one of the most frequent coach services in the world betwen Oxford and London. Two companies compete here - Oxford Bus Company, and Stagecoach.
Scotland has its own coach network called Citylink.
03/02/2012 at 11:13
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