£1 bus fares are extended
BUS company First is to extend its trial of £1 early morning fares for pensioners.
The Sentinel reported last month that the firm was to test out the fares across all of its Stoke-on-Trent routes for four weeks following a council subsidy cut.
That trial had been due to come to an end at the weekend, but managers have now decided to extend it for two weeks to carry out more analysis.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council slashed its subsidy by £100,000 earlier this year, which means senior citizen pass holders boarding buses before 9.30am on weekdays have to pay regular adult prices rather than travel for free.
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First said it has seen a "very significant" drop in passengers as a result and believes businesses around the city will also have suffered. First Potteries general manager Peter Walch said: "From the early figures, it does look like the trial is helping and more people are using the buses."
The city council first unveiled plans for the controversial cut last year as part of a bid to save £24 million from its annual budget. It came into force on April 2.