Members will hear about the end of the bus stimulus grant, the effects it could have on the region’s bus network and the steps the combined authority is taking to try to mitigate them.
The funding, of over £1million per month, is due to end in October.
The joint authority financially supports 22% of the current network.
A government-mandated network sustainability review revealed that up to 62 routes could be affected and that 11% of the current network would not be financially viable if government funding to operators were withdrawn, with the potential to affect West Yorkshire communities.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I have lobbied government ministers and will continue to advocate for additional funding for bus operators beyond October.
“I also hope that the bus companies will understand that this is a transition period and that they will have to bear some of the financial pressure.
“We cannot create a truly transformational bus network if we only stick to the routes that make the most money, there is a balance to be struck.
“The people of West Yorkshire deserve a service that serves all of our communities rather than just running the routes that generate substantial profits.
“We and the government have supported the bus companies throughout Covid. I hope they will now step up and stay the course with us to implement our ambitious program of investment in our region’s bus network .”
Councilor Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Sustained economic recovery will require all of our efforts and resources, both regionally and nationally.
“High quality public transport is essential to our West Yorkshire economy.
“We are doing our part by investing in infrastructure, new types of tickets and new buses – we now need the government to continue their Covid support for bus operators, and operators to work with us to bring people back to our bus.
“But the government must also play its part in supporting bus and rail companies and services, in order to maintain our post-pandemic economic growth.
“With this latest government cut, over ten percent of our network is at risk, including evening and Sunday services.”
Members will discuss plans to bring 111 zero-emission buses to West Yorkshire and the new £2 maximum single fare and £4.50 day ticket proposed for introduction in September as part of the service improvement plan combined authority bus station.
Mayor joins passengers in marking progress toward bus reform