CHILD bus fares look set to rise for the first time in eight years – jumping by 25% in April.
And, if transport officers have their way, the fare will rocket by another 50% over the following two years.
The flat-rate child fare of 40p is currently the lowest in the country outside London, but the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority wants to raise that to 50p from April 1.
Councillors will be asked to approve the move at a meeting on Thursday. They will also face a recommendation of further increases – to 60p and 70p – in 2012 and 2013.
David Brown, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive Director General, said: “No-one likes fares going up but we all have to make our own responses to the wider financial climate.
“South Yorkshire is currently the cheapest metropolitan area in the country outside London for child bus fares and even if the ITA approves this recommendation it would still be the cheapest.”
Since October 2003, when the present fare was introduced, the number of child passengers in South Yorkshire has risen from around 17m to 18.5m per year.