Thursday, January 19, 2006

Those stinky Travel West Midlands buses

In the space of two years a standard bus fare in the West Midlands has gone up to £1.20, a steep 20% rise. The so-called 'daysaver'? Another 20% rise, from £2-50 to £3-00. At this rate it'll be a fiver by the end of the decade. Even worse the 'short hop' ticket, from 55p to 85p an increase of around 50%. Perhaps they charge extra for the eau-de-piss essence you inhale on those Travel West Midlands' double-deckers.

Now look at your wage slip. What a surprise it doesn't swell up anywhere near as fast as those rates. Somehow in the same stretch my wage went up by 2% in total, and I should even concede I've been luckier than some. And let's not get into the mad rise of London Underground fares or railway prices. Train fares could knock you for six unless you know whether you're going to travel 25 months in advance, the exact departing time and your surname begins with M or something. And what a service they offer, but that's another story.

Clearly the taxpayers' zillions poured into Virgin Trains and every cash-strapped private company contracted out to supply public services aren't enough. Do your bit of charity. Get on that bus.

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