Councillors Vote To Raise Buzza Bus Fares

buzza-busCouncillors have voted to increase the fares for the Buzza Bus by 50%.

The service is operated on behalf of the council by Age UK at a cost of just over £24,000 a year.

The rise from £1 to £1.50 had been recommended in a secret session of the Community Services Committee and went to the P & R meeting on Tuesday.

Director of Community Services, Penny Penn-Howard said the move was not about making a profit, but making sure the service was sustainable.

She said the money was need for ongoing maintenance.

The Council are planning to replace the batteries in the electric vehicle every two years, at a cost of £8,000 each time.

Chairman of Community Services, Richard McCarthy said he was pleased the increase was being discussed in an open session this time.

He said the Buzza Bus has become almost iconic on the islands and has been enormously popular with elderly and disabled members of the community.

It’s Age UK’s most successful service, he said.

Richard said the fare increase was not meant to penalise the users and the last thing he wants to see is the service “grind to a halt” if no further grants are available over the horizon.

Cllr David Pearson said he gave up his own car in favour of using the Buzza Bus, adding it’s one of the best things to happen for the elderly population of the islands.

Age UK will be writing to all users by the end of this month to let them know what’s happening.

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