Eynsham Parish Council is pleased to be able to inform residents that our community bus service provider First and Last Mile will, from August, be matching the bus fare cap price that is currently in place on many other bus services.
The bus fare cap was introduced by the Government to alleviate the pressures of the rising costs of living. It was initially planned to run for just three months but was recently extended until the end of October. Many of our local bus companies are taking part, including Stagecoach and the Oxford Bus Company. (Read more on this story in a previous article.)
First and Last Mile have not, up until now, been able to offer the fare cap as they weren’t eligible to participate formally in this national scheme: bus companies had to be in receipt of Covid Recovery Grant and during that time this service didn’t exist.
However, as passengers have increasingly questioned why the fares remained higher than other bus services, the community service has worked with the Public Transport Team at Oxfordshire County Council to find a way to make it possible.
From August, all single journeys on the First and Last Mile services (411 and 418 routes) will be capped at £2, halving the price of the existing adult fare. Not only is this great for passengers, it will also cost the taxpayer less under the agreement with the County Council.
The only drawback is that this cap will reduce the amount of money First and Last Mile are able to raise through their services, funds which are vital to the continued running of the routes. However, the service providers are hopeful that a reduction in fares will encourage greater passenger numbers, as will some amendments in the timetable that are being planned to improve and grow the existing services.
Find out more about this news on the First and Last Mile website. They are always looking for more volunteers to help run the service, whether as a driver (full training provided) or in one of the many other roles. Residents can read about the options and how to get in touch on the volunteering page.