Back the Bus

Big People Movers

The Xplore Dundee network serves over 13 million passengers a year, with almost 100 buses running over 20 routes in and around the city. We are proud of the role we play in helping people access work & education, hospitals & shops, and everywhere else in between. Our fast, frequent network offers comprehensive coverage across Dundee, along with a range of great value tickets to suit your travel needs.

Across the country, buses are by far the most popular mode of public transport - providing an essential service for people of all backgrounds. Buses are a big boost to our economy (every £1 invested in bus travel yields £8 in wider social benefits), and can also be the solution to pollution (as a single full bus could remove up to 75 cars from our congested roads).


The Challenges we Face

Despite the overall positive contribution to society, the number of people travelling by bus is falling. There are a number of reasons for this downward trend, such as the rise in car ownership. This creates a vicious cycle whereby people swap their bus pass for the perceived convenience of a car, which just adds more traffic to our overloaded roads, and lengthens journey times for everyone. Then, those who still travel by bus experience delays and are tempted to buy a car of their own. And so the cycle goes on.

We, like every business, are subject to an ever-changing economy. The boom in popularity of online shopping over the last decade has led to fewer people travelling to local high streets and more delivery vans congesting the roads. Advances in technology also mean that an increasing share of the workforce is working from home, streaming services mean fewer trips to the cinema, and young people are more likely to stay home with their games consoles than head to the swimming pool with friends.

Fewer passengers unfortunately results in one of two things: less frequent buses, or higher fares to meet the shortfall in the fares box. Although bus fares have risen 11.9% since before the Great Recession, the costs of operating buses (such as driver pay, vehicle maintenance and fuel) have risen by almost 25% - so fares have been kept as low as possible. On top of that, 9 out of 10 bus routes are operated without public subsidy - and, although buses carry ten times more people than trains, the Government invests ten times more in the rail network than in bus services.


It's not all Doom and Gloom

We're confident that there is a bright future for buses. Operators up and down the country are investing in new vehicles, new tickets and new technology (such as our new mTicket app) to make bus travel easier and more convenient than ever. Scotland's bus companies are constantly engaging with decision makers to get the best deal for our passengers - and we'd encourage you to do the same. Visit to read more about this project; it's a campaign for everyone to get on board with!

Published 30th January 2018