Just when you thought First Bus couldn't do anything to make itself more unpopular...
After my last meeting with the MD I wrote to him to follow up on an issue Dawn Primarolo and I had discussed with him (and got, we thought, a reasonably encouraging response), about introduced a reduced fare pilot scheme on one or two key routes, to see if it would encourage more people to use the buses. Had a frankly useless response today, which was basically along the lines 'you might think fares have gone up but actually they haven't in absolutely every case and not by as much as you think'. And no mention of the pilot schemes.
You may recall that two of First's favourite excuses for fare increases and lack of reliability were (a) the price of fuel and (b) difficulty in recruiting drivers. We all know what's happened to fuel prices lately, and I'm reliably informed that as unemployment bites, they're now inundated with applications from would-be drivers.
What do we want? A Quality Contract! When do we want it? Now!