BUS use has gone up in Solihull for the first time in several decades, reversing the fall in passenger numbers that is taking place elsewhere in the country.
But the Green Party fears inflation-busting bus fares due to come in from January 2 will put a stop to this increase.
A standard single journey will rise by 20p to £1.70 - an increase of over 10 per cent - and more than double the rate of inflation.
Popular daysavers will go from £3 to £3.30 unless they are bought in advance.
Across the West Midlands County, passenger numbers went up 5.1 million to 330.5 million last year and the region now has the highest bus usage per head of population for any conurbation outside London.
The Green Party’s Prospective Euro-MP Chris Williams, from Solihull, said: “It’s great to see more people turning back to buses. But an inflation-busting rise after big rises in the past two years benefits nobody but the bus company. In 2006, it cost just £1.20 for a single fare. £1.70 by 2009 is way faster than inflation.”
The hike from National Express comes just a week after the company announced plans to revamp local services.
Officials said the new scheme will link communities together more effectively.