Kickstarting growth in bus patronage: Targeting support at the margins

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - growth, economics - appraisal/evaluation, mode - bus


United Kingdom, Ridership, Patronage (Transit ridership), Intracity bus transportation, Implementation, Great Britain, Government funding, Evaluation and assessment, Competitive bidding, Case studies, Bus transit


This paper presents an assessment of the performance of the Kickstart and Bus Route Development Grant schemes in England and Scotland which aimed to move marginal or new bus services towards commercial operation. Three key aspects are addressed, namely: the bidding and implementation process; performance against objectives and the future potential of the approach. The evidence suggests that this form of transformational support appears to offer a better return than subsidy that supports the status quo or indeed patronage based support.


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