WHERE would we be without the Glasgow Subway? It’s a question Greens are asking this week after emergency funding for the iconic service came to an end on Wednesday with no sign of a replacement.

Greens are campaigning to Save Our Subway after the underground, which suffered a near-total evaporation of passenger demand during lockdown, lost £4.5million between April and June.

A Scottish Government package of emergency funding announced back in July came to a close at the end of September, and while private bus and train operators have been given further money to tide them over until the new year, there’s nothing in sight for publicly -owned transport bodies such as subway operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

SPT has commented that if funding does not emerge, they will have no choice but to make cuts to transport services across the region – so this impacts not just Glasgow but 12 different council areas, stretching from Gourock to Girvan, Brodick to Biggar.

And it’s not just the Subway at risk. When private bus companies decide a route just isn’t profitable enough and leave, it’s SPT that steps in and provides a bus service. If funding isn’t found then all of these vital connections are under threat, leaving communities in Glasgow and across the west of Scotland stranded.

What’s more, the MyBus service is a lifeline for disabled and older people, giving access to transport on wheelchair accessible buses which pick you up at your door and take you right to where you need to go, whether that’s a hospital appointment or the bingo. This too is at risk without funding.

Public transport is about connecting people. It’s about supporting the rights of everyone to get out, meet friends, get to work, get to healthcare. Of course, with the climate crisis, we have no option but to build a city that doesn’t depend on cars – but this is also about fairness. In Glasgow where half of our residents don’t own a car, public transport is an absolutely vital part of what keeps our city moving.

Greens want free public transport for everyone, owned in public hands – and a big step towards that vision is due soon with our budget win of free buses for all under 19s coming next year. Yes, coronavirus has meant a whole raft of new challenges for public transport. But the socially just and green recovery we need means investing in

these vital services, not leaving them hanging while the private companies are looked after.

At 124-years-old the Glasgow Subway has survived plenty of crises before now. However, it’s going to require urgent investment to steer it through this one. Greens are pushing to Save Our Subway, and you can join the campaign too at greens.scot/SaveOurSubway. Together we can keep shoogling the Scottish Government on this – then it’s up to them to step in, and stop our underground going under.