Arriva North East Limited and Stagecoach on Teesside provide the majority of scheduled bus services within the Borough. The remaining services are provided by a number of smaller operators including Compass Royston Travel Ltd, Leven Valley Coaches, Hutchinsons, Scarlet Band, Tees Valley Coaches and Go (North-East).
Most bus services are run on a commercial basis without any subsidy from the Council. The Council does pay towards providing early morning, evening and Sunday services and routes serving some of the smaller communities outside the main towns that would otherwise not be served by public transport. These services, which operate under the 'Boroughbus' brand, are generally numbered between 500 and 999.
The Council, in partnership with the operators, has won bids under government Challenge schemes. The most recent example is the X6 MiBus service now operating on a fully commercial basis.
The Council operates a number of Concessionary Fare Schemes, designed to reduce the cost of bus travel for those residents least able to afford it. These include the enhancements to the English National Concessionary Fare Scheme (ENCTS) providing free travel between 9.30am and 11.00pm on weekdays and at any time on weekends, for people aged 60 and above and those with disabilities, and Stockton's own Pathfinder scheme for young people aged between 16 and 19, which provides unlimited 24/7 half price travel anywhere in the old Cleveland area (Darlington term time only).
The Council also invests heavily in Infrastructure Improvements designed to encourage increased bus use. Examples of this investment include:
- Core bus route
- Low floor bus stops
- High standard bus shelters
- CCTV cameras on buses
- CCTV in shelters
- Real Time information displays
The Community Transport Unit was formed in April 2002 following a Best Value Review. The Council's former Education Transport, Social Services' Transport and 'Dial-a-Ride' functions were brought together to ensure the most efficient use of the Council's transport fleet. The Unit also provides a 'transport brokerage' service, designed to put community transport providers in touch with potential customers.
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