England’s second-largest municipal bus operator invests £3m a year into the network by not having to pay dividends.
Reading Buses, the second-largest municipal operator in England, is owned by Reading Borough Council. As a municipally owned bus service, Reading Buses can invest an additional £3 million a year in the bus network (around 12 – 15% of its annual turnover) because it doesn’t pay out dividends to private shareholders. The extra money means better quality buses, and is one reason why more people take the bus in Reading.
The company has been repeatedly recognised with industry awards and high ratings for efficiency, cost and customer perception. The 2016 UK Bus Awards were a resounding success for public ownership – with publicly owned Reading buses winning three awards.
Tags Municipal ownership
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Austerity has pummelled living standards and public services. Now is the time to end it.
Roll out universal basic services
Quality public services allow us all to live better lives, and should be expanded beyond health and education.
Expand democratic public ownership
New models of public ownership ensure control by users, workers and communities.
Insource public services
Ending outsourcing can help government and local authorities reduce costs and improve services.