Plans to set up bus franchising to take bus services into public control are being asked to be given the green light today.

The franchise model would see the council, as a transport authority, have the power to regulate fares and routes across the city.

Franchising is expected to cost as much as £15m and take seven years before it is in place.

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The plan falls short of a publicly owned and operated bus service, which is possible under powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act.

It has been estimated it would cost around £200m to set up a publicly owned bus firm in Glasgow.

Instead, the SNP administration wants council officers to be given the go-ahead to begin preparing business cases for franchising.

Angus Millar, Convenor for Transport, said: “The SNP made clear in its manifesto for the local elections earlier this year that we wanted to explore using the incoming powers of the Transport Act to give Glaswegians the world-class bus service they deserve.

“But we need to make a robust business case for change, and fully explore what a new model of transport delivery could look like, before any decision can be taken.

“If committee gives officers approval to do just that it would be the crucial first step in delivering change.”

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In the meantime, the plan is to work with current operators to improve reliability and affordability through a Bus Service Improvement Partnership.

Councillor Millar, added: “At the same time as we progress work towards greater public control, we recognise the need to work in partnership with operators to deliver better bus services now.

“Our bus governance route map sets out how we will look to take advantage of new powers in both the shorter and medium terms to secure reform and improvement for Glasgow’s buses.

“We will now engage with all partners, including operators, the Scottish Government and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, to take forward this important conversation on the future of Glasgow’s buses together.”

The council's environment, sustainability & carbon reduction committee is being asked to approve the plans today.

Currently, First Bus is the biggest operator in Glasgow. Stagecoach runs a number of regional services coming into Glasgow from neighbouring areas and McGill’s also operates several services.

Get Glasgow Moving is a campaign calling for a more affordable and better-connected bus network.

It states: “Private bus companies across Scotland currently receive £314m million every year in public subsidies. That’s 45% of their income. Yet they still get to decide which routes they run.

“Our money would be better spent by re-regulating the private bus companies, so that our Regional Transport Authority can plan and control the network. And by setting up a publicly-owned bus company that can serve the needs of our communities and environment, not shareholders.”