UK buses headed same way as Japan?

In a surprising article this morning in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, the UK bus system seems to be suffering from some of the same symptoms as the Japanese rural transportation system. With bus numbers down 6% nationally over the course of just the last 12 months, local funding being cut, and at the same time the number of cars on the road to increase over 50% in the next 20yrs, something will need to change.

Even if there is a sharp change in public policy and funding, in the medium term a combination of ridesharing, carsharing and existing vehicle automation will be needed to both mitigate air pollution, road congestion and ensure transport for all. This includes the poor, aged and disabled and especially on low-traffic rural bus lines where the only other mobility options are to either drive yourself or stay stuck at home.