Glasgow subway price hike

Craig MacLellan

The price of travel on the Glasgow Subway is set to increase for the second time in under a year.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which operates the Subway system, has been hit by the escalating cost of energy.

An increase of 94% in the price of traction energy, which is used to run the underground trains, leaves the company facing a rise in electricity costs of £800,000.

There will be increases on all fares, with single adult and return fares both rising 9% to £1.20 and £2.40 respectively. Discovery tickets, will see a larger 40% increase from £2.50 to £3.50.

The rise in the cost of a Discovery Ticket now makes travelling on the Subway more expensive than travelling by bus, with the equivalent FirstDay ticket costing £3.20.

Current increases follow on from a rise in fares introduced last April. The rises were in line with inflation and followed a three-year-long    price freeze.

A survey conducted by the University of Glasgow, in 2007, found that 42% of students use public transport to travel to and from campus. For those who used other methods, the cost of public transport was cited as a reason for doing so.

Alistair Wilson, Chairman of SPT, said that, whilst he appreciates the difficult economic climate, SPT had little choice but to increase  ticket prices.

He said: “We know everyone is strapped for cash at the moment and this was a difficult   decision for us as a result.

“Faced with an increased fuel bill of almost £800,000 and other escalating operating costs, we have no option open to us other than increasing fares.”
President of the SRC, Gavin Lee, regards the price rises as unacceptable, especially given the fact that many people are currently trying to reduce spending as much as possible.

He told Guardian: “SPT’s price rises have shown a total disregard for students and those on low incomes: those most likely to use their services.
“These are essential services for students travelling to and from the university; and to be penalising them with a 40% increase is insulting.”
He explained that the SRC are in contact with politicians and the SPT to protect student interests.

He said: “The SRC are in communication with the SPT and MSPs from across the political parties to ensure that financial pressures on students are eased.”

SPT maintains that a ticket on the subway is still one of the lowest in Europe, with further savings possible through the purchase of a multi-journey ticket.

A spokesperson said: “Students can save 25p per journey if they buy the adult 20 journey tickets at £19. This ticket makes the cost per journey 95p rather than £1.20 for the adult single ticket.”

The final decision on the fare increases will be made at the next SPT meeting.


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