The option which safeguards the largest number of bus journeys subsidised by Staffordshire County Council is to be recommended for approval by Cabinet members following a consultation.
During the eight-week public consultation, members of the public were asked to have their say on the how the £1.3m budget available could be best spent on subsidising trips which are unprofitable for bus operators.
Around 2,000 responses were received and, after analysing feedback, a report to Cabinet recommends proceeding with Option1, which safeguards the most current journeys and offers the lowest average subsidy cost to taxpayers.
If approved, the county council plans to continue to work with operators, district and borough councils, parish councils and local community groups to explore options for supporting some of the journeys which will no longer be funded by the county council from April 2018.
Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Commercial, said:
While the vast majority of bus journeys in Staffordshire are made without any subsidy from the county council, some journeys are still costing taxpayers more than£10 every time someone gets on board.
“When we need to spend a record £300m on care this year, it is only right that we continue to look closely at how public money is used for bus journeys and the public consultation gave us the chance to find out how people in the county think this can be best spent.
“The option which keeps the most journeys for the lowest subsidy gained the most support of any option and we now want to work with bus operators, local councils and communities to explore how they may want to still support some of the journeys which will no longer be subsidised.”
A final decision will be made by Cabinet on November 15 and the proposals implemented from April 2018.