Bus services in Scotland are provided in a deregulated marketplace, with most bus services provided on a commercial basis by private companies.

Bus operators can choose to provide services on any route and with any timetable, provided they have registered the bus service with the Office of the Scottish Traffic Commissioner. Bus operators consult with their existing and potential customers, local authorities, and other stakeholders, before introducing, amending, or withdrawing, such services, which are described as “commercial”.  

Local authorities such as Aberdeenshire Council have a duty to identify travel needs within their area which are not otherwise met, and secure what public transport is appropriate taking into account the funds available. These bus services are described as “supported”.

In addition to funding fixed route bus services, the Council supports community transport, for example dial-a-bus and voluntary car schemes operated by the voluntary sector, provides door-to-door dial-a-bus services and also provides a TaxiCard Scheme which offers a discount on taxi fares, usually £5 per journey, for older and disabled residents.

The Council has limited funds and is seeking your views on public transport to assist decision-making on how to prioritise spend.

Further information on the Council’s strategy and associated current policies for the support of passenger transport, including local bus services, can be found in the Passenger Transport Strategy

This questionnaire focuses on ascertaining views on how best to provide supported bus services. You may answer the questions as an individual, or on behalf of an organisation