The Norwegian government will set aside an additional NOK 100 million to extend the support scheme of the crisis-hit express bus companies in 2021.
In the so-called phase 3 package, the government proposed allocating NOK 100 million to a subsidy scheme for commercial bus and boat routes.
The measure will be extended to next year.
The companies are compensated for lost ticket revenues within the scheme, and the subsidy is managed by the Norwegian Railway Directorate.
The government decided to continue the scheme, as the uncertainty related to how infection control measures will affect the express buses’ customer base in 2021 remains high.
“Important for passengers and business”
“The express buses run between cities and areas that have no other public transport alternatives,” State Secretary Ingelin Norsjø (KrF) in the Ministry of Transport and Communications told news bureau NTB.
Norwegian parliament (Storting) representative Solveig Sundbø Abrahamsen (H) from Telemark emphasized that the express buses are important for both passenger traffic and business.
“Haukeliekspressen, the route between Haugesund and Oslo, is a good example of how important it is to have an express offer that connects districts and cities,” she told NTB.
She cited the Grenland Express between Oslo, Drammen, Siljan, and Skien and the Telemark Express between Seljord and Tønsberg as other examples of important connections.
The government will present its proposal for the state budget on October 7.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today