TRANSPORT chiefs in West Yorkshire have welcomed news that more people are using buses.
But they warned that more needs to be done to make sure passenger numbers continue to rise.
Metro welcomed a Confederation of Passenger Transport report that confirms bus passenger numbers are rising.
Metro Director General Kieran Preston said: "People in West Yorkshire make 200m bus journeys every year and buses have been recognised by the Government as the most frequently used form of public transport for local journeys.
"However we all know that services could be better and if more people are to be attracted on to public transport, improvements must be seen to happen.
"Metro, along with the UK's other Passenger Transport Executives, is mounting a campaign to persuade the Government to give us greater power to specify the levels and standards of services and penalise the operators appropriately when those standards are not met."
Mr Preston said Metro was also developing the Yorkshire Bus Initiative, in partnership with South Yorkshire PTE, York Council and bus operators.
It is designed to make bus services reliable, simple to use and comfortable.
They hope it will lead to a 30% increase in passengers and include new innovations such as real-time information and smart-card ticketing.
* An extra 110 million journeys were made by bus in Britain last year
* Passenger numbers have increased by nearly 5% since 1999
* Operators invested in 8,725 new buses in 2003
* The bus industry now employs 155,000 people compared with 148,000 in 1993.