BSOG/Concs fares

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Some say they are grants, subsidies (others say they aren't) - but either way, the attached document is eye watering!

http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/file...ublish.pdf

Who said deregulation would save taxpayer money?
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Only looked at a glance as I'm on the mobile, but it's extremely worrying. I do think it backs up that concessionary travel for free is unsustainable from the council's/PTEs point of view, but are the operators going to make that sort of return if it didn't exist? I don't think you'd have anywhere near as many journeys.
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(21 Feb 2014, 11:59 pm)aureolin Wrote: Only looked at a glance as I'm on the mobile, but it's extremely worrying. I do think it backs up that concessionary travel for free is unsustainable from the council's/PTEs point of view, but are the operators going to make that sort of return if it didn't exist? I don't think you'd have anywhere near as many journeys.

There is another document (lost the link) that stated patronage rose on average between 20-30% on introduction of the 60+ concessionary pass in Scotland.
The grants/subsidies/handouts given to the operators as a result, saw some operators go out and purchase new vehicles (the operators admitted this in the report).

edit: Found it. There is a bit of a coding issue for the first few paragraphs http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/...8622/29905
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(22 Feb 2014, 12:13 am)andreos1 Wrote: There is another document (lost the link) that stated patronage rose on average between 20-30% on introduction of the 60+ concessionary pass in Scotland.
The grants/subsidies/handouts given to the operators as a result, saw some operators go out and purchase new vehicles (the operators admitted this in the report).

Yet I'd say in the North East we're certainly worse off as a result. Operators have shiny new vehicles, but it's a fuss to get from A to B, and you're homebound after 7pm.
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(21 Feb 2014, 11:59 pm)aureolin Wrote: Only looked at a glance as I'm on the mobile, but it's extremely worrying. I do think it backs up that concessionary travel for free is unsustainable from the council's/PTEs point of view, but are the operators going to make that sort of return if it didn't exist? I don't think you'd have anywhere near as many journeys.

Yep, an unfunded political bribe to the part of the electorate with the highest election turnout in my opinion. Not that I've got a strong opinion on this one...

My old man has got one. As soon as they get their winter fuel allowance, off they go Christmas shopping. Usually on the bus - "It's free" he beams at me. "It's not" I reply through gritted teeth.

Not that they're particularly well off, but I wish I was a penny behind him!
The more I think about this, the more I think the industry needs to move away from BSOG. Get rid. Yes, it's handy. But all of the political interferance that comes with it isn't.
(25 Feb 2014, 2:26 pm)Chris Wrote: The more I think about this, the more I think the industry needs to move away from BSOG. Get rid. Yes, it's handy. But all of the political interferance that comes with it isn't.

Regardless of political interference, the BSOG scheme needs to end.
Taxpayers funding smartcard technology, wifi or contributing towards new vehicles - not for me.
Particularly when investors (including foreign banks), benefit from the upturn in passenger numbers and revenue.

The amount given to PLC operators in the form of BSOG (forgetting passes) is totally unjustified.
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(25 Feb 2014, 5:55 pm)andreos1 Wrote: Regardless of political interference, the BSOG scheme needs to end.
Taxpayers funding smartcard technology, wifi or contributing towards new vehicles - not for me.
Particularly when investors (including foreign banks), benefit from the upturn in passenger numbers and revenue.

The amount given to PLC operators in the form of BSOG (forgetting passes) is totally unjustified.

The issue for me is that it's a grant and doesn't need to be paid back. We shouldn't forget that without it though, I'm sure there'd be a good few independents put out of business?

Perhaps a rethink on the fund is needed rather than complete withdrawal?
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(25 Feb 2014, 6:35 pm)aureolin Wrote: The issue for me is that it's a grant and doesn't need to be paid back. We shouldn't forget that without it though, I'm sure there'd be a good few independents put out of business?

Perhaps a rethink on the fund is needed rather than complete withdrawal?

Possibly restrict it to organisations not exceeding a certain amount of revenue or profit then, such as the smaller independents.

I cant think of any justification, why me, you or your next door neighbour should pay our taxes into a system, that ensures multi-million pound, multi-national companies can buy new vehicles (or in the case of the railways), refurbish/buy new trains.

If the system was nationalised/regionalised then yes, there is justification to keep BSOG, because ultimately, the money will be returned into local/central government coffers.

As it stands, that BSOG money isn't returned into local or national coffers at all, but supplements s new purchase or two, wifi or smartcard technology and the pot of German government, Mr Soutars offshore bank account (and the Airdrie Savings Bank) or some foreign investment fund on Wall Street - whilst passengers see poorer services.

We don't get Government handouts (austerity saw the end to that), yet the money is being thrown at multi-million pound organisations as though it is going out of fashion.
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(25 Feb 2014, 7:01 pm)andreos1 Wrote: Possibly restrict it to organisations not exceeding a certain amount of revenue or profit then, such as the smaller independents.

I cant think of any justification, why me, you or your next door neighbour should pay our taxes into a system, that ensures multi-million pound, multi-national companies can buy new vehicles (or in the case of the railways), refurbish/buy new trains.

If the system was nationalised/regionalised then yes, there is justification to keep BSOG, because ultimately, the money will be returned into local/central government coffers.

As it stands, that BSOG money isn't returned into local or national coffers at all, but supplements s new purchase or two, wifi or smartcard technology and the pot of German government, Mr Soutars offshore bank account (and the Airdrie Savings Bank) or some foreign investment fund on Wall Street - whilst passengers see poorer services.

We don't get Government handouts (austerity saw the end to that), yet the money is being thrown at multi-million pound organisations as though it is going out of fashion.

Yep, you could always argue the money is best spent elsewhere. Even if it went into the local government pot though, it then creates further arguments of who or what deserves that money more? Do we increase the spend on welfare, or do we choose to keep local libraries open?

BSOG was designed to keep fares down and to enable operators to run services that may not otherwise be profitable. Do we actually have any proof that this is working? Fares have risen well above the rate of inflation for so long now, and because of commercial confidentiality, we'll never know how profitable service A B or C is.
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(25 Feb 2014, 10:35 pm)aureolin Wrote: Yep, you could always argue the money is best spent elsewhere. Even if it went into the local government pot though, it then creates further arguments of who or what deserves that money more? Do we increase the spend on welfare, or do we choose to keep local libraries open?

BSOG was designed to keep fares down and to enable operators to run services that may not otherwise be profitable. Do we actually have any proof that this is working? Fares have risen well above the rate of inflation for so long now, and because of commercial confidentiality, we'll never know how profitable service A B or C is.

Libraries, road repairs, special schools - I'm not bothered.
Public money, should not be given to multi-national plc companies.
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BSOG in principle is fine. But surely operators in your major cities on your heavily used routes can live without it.

Profit isn't a dirty word, so I've got no problem operators making a profit whilst claiming BSOG. Other industries are offered incentives/favourable rates/inducements/bribes all the time and still go on to make a profit - e.g. Build your shiny new factory in our post code and we'll give you massively reduced rates for 10 years/pay for you to relocate etc...

No, just the interferance aspect for me. If operators are relying on BSOG just to stay in business then I'd argue they're in pretty bad shape anyway.

Concessionary travel is slightly different in that politics, rather than transport policy will decide its fate. If it stays it needs to be either funded properly; means tested so only those who really need it get it; users pay a small annual charge; paid (and taxed) via pension or whatever.

For both issues surely it can't be beyond the wit of man to come up with something that works for everyone.
(27 Feb 2014, 1:49 pm)Chris Wrote: BSOG in principle is fine. But surely operators in your major cities on your heavily used routes can live without it.

Profit isn't a dirty word, so I've got no problem operators making a profit whilst claiming BSOG. Other industries are offered incentives/favourable rates/inducements/bribes all the time and still go on to make a profit - e.g. Build your shiny new factory in our post code and we'll give you massively reduced rates for 10 years/pay for you to relocate etc...

No, just the interferance aspect for me. If operators are relying on BSOG just to stay in business then I'd argue they're in pretty bad shape anyway.

Concessionary travel is slightly different in that politics, rather than transport policy will decide its fate. If it stays it needs to be either funded properly; means tested so only those who really need it get it; users pay a small annual charge; paid (and taxed) via pension or whatever.

For both issues surely it can't be beyond the wit of man to come up with something that works for everyone.

I don't have a problem with concessionary passes - the majority of passengers have paid into the system, so cant see an issue with them getting one or two perks back.
The operators are given a rebate (all be it one they don't necessarily approve of).

I don't have an issue with operators making a profit.

I do have issues with millions of pounds of money being thrown at these companies, new purchases, WiFi, smartcard technology and whatever else being purchased as a result.

The big operators have the money and means to purchase new vehicles, fit WiFi, fit smartcard technology and other things without BSOG.
They don't need the money.
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(27 Feb 2014, 7:29 pm)andreos1 Wrote: I don't have a problem with concessionary passes - the majority of passengers have paid into the system, so cant see an issue with them getting one or two perks back.
The operators are given a rebate (all be it one they don't necessarily approve of).

I don't have an issue with operators making a profit.

I do have issues with millions of pounds of money being thrown at these companies, new purchases, WiFi, smartcard technology and whatever else being purchased as a result.

The big operators have the money and means to purchase new vehicles, fit WiFi, fit smartcard technology and other things without BSOG.
They don't need the money.

BSOG is the posh way of saying Fuel Duty Rebate - so it's the operators money being returned to them, NOT taxpayer's money. And what that does is reduces costs on services that, if that cost was added onto it, would be likely for the cut, like say the 71.

So by all means, keep banging on about BSOG and it being taken away, but then you'll end up with only main corridor routes and very little services like the 71 and East Durham services.
(27 Feb 2014, 7:35 pm)Kuyoyo Wrote: BSOG is the posh way of saying Fuel Duty Rebate - so it's the operators money being returned to them, NOT taxpayer's money. And what that does is reduces costs on services that, if that cost was added onto it, would be likely for the cut, like say the 71.

So by all means, keep banging on about BSOG and it being taken away, but then you'll end up with only main corridor routes and very little services like the 71 and East Durham services.

'the posh way of saying Fuel Duty Rebate'?
Since when has the fuel duty rebate paid for stuff like new buses and smartcards?

Its a pot of funds, that includes the fuel rebate (a rebate on 49p isn't a bad little earner).

Do the companies not make enough money to pay for new technology and passenger handouts without a few quid in handouts like?
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(27 Feb 2014, 7:59 pm)andreos1 Wrote: 'the posh way of saying Fuel Duty Rebate'?
Since when has the fuel duty rebate paid for stuff like new buses and smartcards?

Its a pot of funds, that includes the fuel rebate (a rebate on 49p isn't a bad little earner).

Do the companies not make enough money to pay for new technology and passenger handouts without a few quid in handouts like?

It doesn't pay for WiFi or new buses - the previous year's profits do that! The 'repayment' will be used to pay for the following year's fuel.
(27 Feb 2014, 8:02 pm)Kuyoyo Wrote: It doesn't pay for WiFi or new buses - the previous year's profits do that! The 'repayment' will be used to pay for the following year's fuel.

I cant be bothered to dig out the thread or links - but if you have a look around the site, you will maybe find the link which shows the BSOG is paying for more than fuel.
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(27 Feb 2014, 8:11 pm)andreos1 Wrote: I cant be bothered to dig out the thread or links - but if you have a look around the site, you will maybe find the link which shows the BSOG is paying for more than fuel.

Operators get an uplift in BSOG if they fit smartcard-ready ETMs and live vehicle tracking which helps them to partly recoup the cost.
NESTI are funding the ETMs for smaller operators over a lease period I believe (hence the amount of operators using the Ticketer machines and back office functions).

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(27 Feb 2014, 7:35 pm)Kuyoyo Wrote: So by all means, keep banging on about BSOG and it being taken away, but then you'll end up with only main corridor routes and very little services like the 71 and East Durham services.

Not banging on, merely thinking out loud. The gist of which, was that main corridor routes could easily live without it, but your marginal routes would still need it. Instead of giving everyone a reduced rate universally, why not concentrate it to those areas/networks that need it?

I think saying it's just operators getting their own money back is perhaps no longer strictly the case (hence the change of name from 'rebate'), a bit like saying road tax funds the upkeep of the roads....

It still comes from the public purse, regardless of how it was raised. The recent headline figure is something like 44% of operators income comes via Government (in whatever guise).

For the record, in my eyes neither BSOG nor Concessionary travel are subsidies.
(28 Feb 2014, 2:26 pm)Chris Wrote: Not banging on, merely thinking out loud. The gist of which, was that main corridor routes could easily live without it, but your marginal routes would still need it. Instead of giving everyone a reduced rate universally, why not concentrate it to those areas/networks that need it?

I think saying it's just operators getting their own money back is perhaps no longer strictly the case (hence the change of name from 'rebate'), a bit like saying road tax funds the upkeep of the roads....

It still comes from the public purse, regardless of how it was raised. The recent headline figure is something like 44% of operators income comes via Government (in whatever guise).

For the record, in my eyes neither BSOG nor Concessionary travel are subsidies.

I appreciate the initial link was specific to Scottish funding (hence being in this thread), rather than the local thread - but look at the 21.
It is one of the most recognisable services in the GNE fleet and possibly one of the most profitable.

The company have received Government money in the forms of:
Green bus fund - to help fund the purchases of new vehicles, saving fuel costs.
BSOG - smart card technology, fuel concessions and possibly AVL equipment too.
Concessionary fares.

As you said, the main routes may not justify these handouts.
The 21 is raking it in, in the form of passenger revenue AND in the form of Government money.
Yet, passengers have a poorer frequency than in years gone by and fork out more for ever increasing fares.

Or am I missing something so obvious here?
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