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LibertyBus receives £400K as numbers drop by 96%

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LIBERTYBUS is to be given almost £400,000 by the government after its services became financially unviable amid the Covid-19 crisis.

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The company implemented a significantly reduced timetable in March and, the following month, bus users had plummeted by 96% to just under 1,000 daily passengers.

Since then, Islanders have been told only to use buses if it is absolutely essential – to keep them free for the vulnerable and critical workers.

As part of the funding agreement, the service is now being run at zero profit and buses are only running at a maximum of 50% capacity to ensure passengers can physical distance.

Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis said: ‘Jersey’s public transport network is an essential service to many who do not own a car, particularly to key workers such as those in the health service, supermarket employees or Islanders who rely upon it for shopping for supplies and attending medical appointments.

‘It is essential that this service is preserved throughout the period in which Covid-19-related government emergency regulations apply and beyond as we emerge from lockdown.’

Meanwhile, LibertyBus director Kevin Hart said: ‘We are now in a strong position to get the Island moving again as we work through the safe exit strategy and build services back up to a more normal level as soon as the demand is there.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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