Fare Increase From 07.02.2022
Brylaine Fare Rise. 07.02.2022.
Whilst we have kept local bus fares the same since 2019 like many bus operators we now have to re-evaluate and make changes, in order to ensure the viability and continuation of local bus services through 2022 onwards. 90% of Lincolnshire bus services are commercial (unsupported by the regional authority) and whilst the Central Government (DFT) supported the industry with CBSSG throughout the pandemic, this ended in Sept 2021 and has been replaced with a lower level BRG which is expected to end in March 2022.
Like most local businesses 2020 and 2021 were challenging for Brylaine, with increased operating costs and much reduced patronage.
During 2020 and 2021 whilst we continued to operate throughout the pandemic, we also invested by bringing in newer buses with Euro 6 engines to support the regions environmental goals. We applied cashless ticketing and QR machines to all service vehicles; as well as ensuring all service vehicles were fitted with multi level CCTV for passenger safety. We are shortly due to launch our new Real Time Bus Tracker APP, with multi level facilities such as journey planning. Fares, Ticket Purchases along with a Next Stop solution and a new website.
One of the biggest struggle we face is a national shortage of qualified PCV drivers, it continues to dramatically affect bus companies across the country and has recently effected our ability to operate weekend services. This has also meant pay-rates for PCV skilled drivers have significantly increased over the last year, so in order for us to recruit sufficient drivers, retain our current employees at a competitive salary and embark on training new recruits, the wage renumeration including pensions has risen by 14.5% in two years. Escalating fuel costs also play a significant role in increasing our business overheads, along with burgeoning legislation for the PCV industry over the past three years.
Whilst we have to implement fare increases, we still believe our prices represent good value for money. As of February 2022, we will be actioning a 5% increase across all fares (to the nearest 10p up or down) in line with current UK Inflation 2022 of 5% but also taking into account the previous years where there has been none: 2019 1.7%, 2020 .85% and 2021 5.2% : with increases in UK RPI from 2019 2.2%, 2020 0.9%, 2021 4.9% and a 2022 Forecast of 4.2%.
Where does the money from my fare go?
The vast majority of revenue from passenger fares covers the day-to-day costs of running the buses, for example paying for operating costs, overheads, fuel and staff. There is an ongoing heavy burden of legislation with the PCV Industry being heavily regulated. The cost of applying and administrating compliancy, Real Time information, vehicle specifications, licensing and DDA to name but a few - have in the past 5 years risen exponentially. We will and are still lobbying for more support towards your local rural bus service by the regional authority and DFT.
On average, 95p in every pound of your fare goes directly back into the operating costs. That’s because here at Brylaine everyone works hard to get more out of every pound we earn to ensure passengers fares go further in supporting the local bus network.
Whilst a fare rise is something we did not want to implement at this time - knowing full well many local residents and families are already stretched. Rest assured we continue to be committed to offering our passengers the best value fares possible, with the aim of keeping bus travel as affordable for all, whilst investing to improve our services for passengers.
We will always as a local family business, thank you for your continued support and kind patronage of local bus services.