In our latest Spotlight series we look at the cost of bus travel in Glasgow and ask if fares are fair compared to other cities.

BUS fares in Glasgow are higher than other Scottish cities and passengers in many other UK cities get a better deal on price.

Fares in Edinburgh are lower, in Aberdeen they are lower and in Dundee lower still.

In other large UK cities prices are lower too.

The Glasgow Times looked at the cost of a cash or contactless single adult fare, an all day ticket and a weekly ticket.

Other deals for mobile tickets and monthly tickets are available and offer better value for those who can afford the higher initial outlay

In Glasgow, with city’s biggest bus operator, First, an adult single is either £1.70 for a short trip or £2.50 for a longer journey. A ten journey mobile app ticket is £21.

An all day adult ticket in Glasgow with First is £4.60 and the cost of a weekly ticket in Glasgow with First is £17.00.

In Edinburgh, with publicly owned Lothian Buses single and daily tickets are slightly cheaper.

A single adult ticket is £1.80, an all day ticket £4.50 and the weekly ticket is dearer at £20.

In Aberdeen, the HQ of First Bus, the cheapest single is £1.70, an all day is £4.20 and a weekly is £16.99.

Dundee, with Xplore ticket a single is £1.80/£2.30, all day £3.60 and weekly is £14.

In Belfast on Glider/Translink an adult single is £1.60/£2.10 and an all day £3.50.

Passengers in Cardiff in Wales get cheaper deals with a single costing £2, an all day £4 and weekly travel for £15.

Single and day tickets are only able to be used on the bus in Glasgow. If people need to change to use the Subway or trains to get to their destination they need a separate ticket.

In some European cities day passes are available for multiple services and can con be used to make connections within either one or two hours.

In Lyon, in France for example a single ticket costing Euro1.90 covers bus, metro and trams in the city and lasts an hour.

Unlike in Glasgow passengers can get connecting services for the one fare.

The cost of daily bus travel is often a barrier to people on benefits or low incomes getting around.

As a proportion of income it takes a chunk of their cash.

Many people on benefits and people paid weekly can’t afford the initial outlay for a monthly pass.

People working in zero hours contract jobs, who have no certainty form one week to the next are often reliant on paying daily fares.

For an adult with no children on universal credit the amount they get paid is £74 a week, or £10.57 a day.

Buying an all-day ticket to get somewhere in Glasgow takes up almost half of their daily budget.

And for someone in a minimum wage job aged 25 or over for 35 hours a week gets paid £311 a week before tax. Bus fares takes at least 5% of their earnings.

First Bus said a like for like comparison with the other cities mentioned is not possible.

It said the scale of networks and journey opportunities available to customers in Glasgow are important factors which ultimately contribute to the price of its fares.

It also said congestion in Glasgow leads to higher costs for the firm.

The cost of bus travel has been highlighted as a barrier to accessing opportunities and services.

A spokeswoman for Poverty Alliance, said: “When you’re living in poverty, unaffordable transport costs can mean your opportunities are restricted.

“It can mean making heart-breaking choices between paying an essential bill or visiting a loved one in hospital; between buying food or buying a bus ticket to a job interview.

“And it can mean being locked away from those human connections that have become even more important to us all.”

The campaign group argues that free bus travel should be extended to people on low-income benefits and to all young people under 25.

It added: “Public transport is key to easing the financial pressures on low-income households, unlocking opportunities, and in bringing us all back together.

“Removing the barrier to transport would be a significant step towards building a Scotland where everyone is included, no matter their income.

“This move would also help advance gender equality, as women disproportionately rely on public transport to access jobs, healthcare and activities to boost their wellbeing.

“Lone parents, who are predominantly women, would particularly benefit. Expanding the use of public transport will play an important role in reducing Scotland’s emissions and responding to the climate emergency.”

Graeme Macarlan, First Glasgow, Commercial director, said “First Glasgow, like most public transport companies in the Scotland, has been in receipt of Scottish Government funding to maintain essential bus services through the global pandemic including extra resource to adhere to social distancing guidelines, through the Scottish Covid Grant Recovery (SCGR) funding.

“Under the terms of this funding, we are not able to change or alter fares in any way. The last alteration of any kind to fares on our Glasgow network was in fact the 1st of September 2019.

“We are keen to address a number of issues that matter to our customers such as better variety of ticket choice and value for money alongside further investment in our ticketing system to make buses easier to access for all.

“First Glasgow is therefore currently reviewing fares across the board in preparation for the post-covid funding period. This will take effect in early 2022, once funding rules allow.

“First Glasgow has led the way in the city on the drive for cleaner air and a reduction in emissions from buses including significant investment of £71 million in 300 brand-new low or zero emission buses for the city and surrounding areas over the last four years alone.