The way that government supports bus services in England is being reformed through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) system. This page features details of the reforms and guidance for bus operators.
The BSOG reform process
The reforms are being carried out in 2 stages.
Stage 1 reforms
The outcome of stage 1 reforms was published in July 2014; under this, changes were introduced which included BSOG being paid:
to Transport for London (TfL) rather than bus companies operating services in London from October 2013, resulting in some £93 million being paid to TfL each year
to local councils (some £39.5 million) from January 2014, where bus companies operate services outside London under tender to those councils
to local councils (some £2.9 million) from January 2013, where community transport services are operated in-house by those local councils
Alongside this, as of October 2013, certain types of service no longer qualify for BSOG, including rail replacement services.
Stage 2 reforms
Stage 2 of the BSOG reform process was launched in July 2014. It is looking at possible changes to the way BSOG is currently paid for including:
commercially viable services run by bus companies outside London
community transport services which are not run in‐house by local councils
incentive payments for low carbon emission buses, Automatic Vehicle Location apparatus and smart cards apparatus
Working groups comprising of representatives from bus companies, local councils, passenger groups and others organisations have been examining options for reforming these parts of the BSOG regime.
A decision on the changes to be made on BSOG is expected later in 2018.
BSOG guidance for commercial and community bus operators
BSOG is a grant paid to operators of eligible bus services and community transport organisations to help them recover some fuel costs. The amount each bus operator receives is based on their annual fuel consumption.
BSOG aims to benefit passengers. It does this by:
helping operators keep fares down
enabling operators to run services that might otherwise be unprofitable and might otherwise be cancelled
For further information or if you think you’re entitled to claim this grant, contact the BSOG team.