Graham Harrison wrote:
I live in Somerset and hold a concessionary bus pass (a "twirly pass"
as some have it). When I visit London I sometimes buy a combined
paper/orange train ticket/Travelcard. On other occasions I will use my
With the Travelcard it can go through the gates but when I board a bus
I just show the driver the orange ticket. My bus pass works on readers
outside London but in London I'm back to simply showing my pass. The
driver seems to push a button when I show either pass.
All that set me wondering. He might have a "paper travelcard" button
but I find the idea that he has a "Somerset bus pass" button difficult
to believe if only because I doubt he has time to read "Somerset" on
the pass. How do TfL get paid for my use of TfL services when I'm
using either a paper travelcard or my bus pass? For that matter do
they get paid?
While I'm asking, one of my most frequent uses of my bus pass is in
and around Salisbury which, of course, is in Wiltshire. How do
Wiltshire get paid (do they get paid)?
As I understand it, the bus company gets reimbursed (using a complicated
formula) by the local 'travel concession authorities’ (TCAs). In England
these are county, unitary and metropolitan authorities and the 33 London
councils, which collectively get a government formula grant talking about
£1bn. However, some TCAs make a loss and some a profit on this.
In any case, your local TCA doesn't get billed for your use elsewhere in
England, and the bus company just needs to count the total number of
concessionary fares, not who issued the bus passes.