Commission Investigates Possible Bus Corruption

by Ella FAIRCHILD on August 31, 2009

Recently, the Competition Commission is taking a hard look at the British bus industry, as accusations over price gouging begin to emerge.  The investigation was started by the Office of Fair Trading, who recommended further investigation by the Competition Commission.  The accusation is that bus companies are ditching less profitable bus routes and keeping only the most profitable ones.  This allows them to drive up fares, as competition for the remaining routes is fierce.

This lack of competition for bus routes has customers paying unfairly high fares, leaving the Competition Commission wondering if there isn’t foul play involved.  With customers already paying nearly 1.3 billion pounds per year in taxes that partially subsidize the industry, many are concerned that customers are paying twice, once in taxes, and once in higher fares. 

More and more small bus companies are being driven away by their larger competitors, which makes for a distinct lack of competition for less used routes.  This lack of competition is causing the higher prices, as well as cancellations of routes, which bus companies deem to be without value.

John Fingleton, Chief Executive Officer for the Office of Fair Trading said, “Our investigation has unearthed a range of evidence that suggests the market for local bus services is often not working as well as it should and may be resulting in higher prices for bus users.”

The above quote comes from the Telegraph.  For more information, please visit their website.

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