Bus services in the West Midlands are run by private companies called operators.
We work to improve buses in the West Midlands. We work with bus operators, local authorities and other organisations.
We do this through the West Midlands Bus Alliance and Bus Operators Group (BOG).
Our work with bus operators on Sprint
We work closely with operators on Sprint routes. This is called an enhanced partnership. It means we can specify:
- the type of bus an operator uses
- bus branding, also called a livery
- payment options
- on-board facilities and technology
- journey time performance
- which stops the bus service uses
We have an enhanced partnership for the A34/A45 Sprint route between Walsall and Solihull.
We ran a consultation about enhanced partnerships in 2020. We asked for views on our enhanced partnership plan. We changed our plans after getting feedback. You can read more information about:
How we support bus travel
We subsidise £7.6 million worth of bus journeys in the West Midlands. This helps us to:
- offer free and discounted travel
- make sure certain services can run
Free and discounted travel
We run the English National Concessionary Scheme for older people and disabled people.
We also run discount schemes for:
- children aged over 5 and under 16
- 16 to 18 year olds
Socially necessary services
We subsidise some bus services to make sure they can run. These include services that run at weekends, early in the morning or late at night. We contract these services to private companies who bid for them. This is called tendering.
We publish the outcome of tenders online:
We maintain over 12,200 bus stops. This means most people live within 400 metres of a bus stop.
We also clean bus stops and fix problems with them. You can report a problem with a bus stop online.
Passenger information at bus stops
We keep bus stop information up to date. This includes:
- signs, sometimes called stop flags
- timetable posters
- onward travel information
- real-time information
We charge bus operators based on how many bus stops they use. We use this money to pay for keeping bus stops up to date. This is called the roadside information recharging scheme. It keeps our passenger information consistent as it is only created by one team.
Bus stations and interchanges
We provide bus stations and interchanges in major centres. They help people to change between different services and modes of transport.
There are 8 travel centres in the West Midlands. Most are run by National Express West Midlands. We run 2 travel centres:
- Birmingham New Street station
- Wolverhampton bus station
At travel centres, you can:
- get travel information
- plan your journey
- get help with Swift or ticketing