Local bus companies are backing Luton Borough Council's £2.65m bid to the Department for Transport's Better Bus Area Fund.
Among the proposals that are going into the funding application is the introduction of an inter-bus company Smart Card that will do away with the need for cash, and encourage loyalty to other marketed products, not just those related to travelling on buses.
This Award Application covers:
1) the capital costs of improving 40 on-street bus stops in Luton and 120 stops in Dunstableand Houghton Regis to include Real Time Passenger Information.£900,000 for 2012-2014
2) the capital costs of junction improvements and other highway work in Dunstable and Houghton Regis to enable extension of Busway services into residential estates.. £200,000 for 2012-13
3) the capital costs of constructing the Luton travel centre and the Dunstable travel hub, with running costs of these to be met by the bus operators. Purpose "to ensure that passengers do not get lost".
4) the capital costs of purchasing and fitting Smartcard readers to 73 Centrebus and Grant Palmer buses operating in the Luton- South Bedfordshire conurbation. £300,000 2012-13
5) the revenue cost of providing personalised timetables to local residents, and the marketing officer who will promote these materials.
In 2011, Central Bedfordshire spent £520k supporting services in Dunstable and Houghton Regis, and £340k was spent in Luton.
Arriva has contributed £250k in purchasing Smartcard ticket machines for their fleet in the conurbation.