The Bus Investment Fund (BIF) operates as a challenge fund open to applications from public transport authorities working in partnership with operators, community transport, NHS, and other public or private sector partners.

The aim of the fund is to incentivise and enable partnership working to help improve bus services, partnerships, standards and infrastructure for communities across Scotland. The fund will support and encourage all relevant authorities to take up partnership working to help increase the standard of bus services to increase patronage thereby achieving a greater modal shift.

Important: As you will be aware this is the second year of the fund and as such the following changes have been implemented. Please take these into account when putting together an application.

  • The Expression of Interest round has been removed
  • A fully fleshed out business plan is expected and projects will be sifted on this
  • The fund runs for 2 years, down from 3
  • Individual bids will be capped to £500,000 of funding over the two years


The Bus Investment Fund is open to applications for a wide variety of projects which deliver a positive impact or innovation in relation to the bus industry and specifically local services in Scotland. This may include both capital and revenue projects.

Only projects which have support of local transport authorities will be considered, in order to ensure funds are not unnecessarily duplicated, and do not have unintended adverse impacts elsewhere on the bus network and are co-ordinated with wider public transport needs.

Applications should be made by transport authorities (LAs and/or RTPs), who are encouraged to work with operators/community sector/NHS where appropriate.

Projects will need to demonstrate clear benefits for bus services and passengers in their area.

Proposed projects to extend to a maximum of two financial years.

The assessment of potential projects will be carried out by Transport Scotland with higher scores being awarded to those bids which (but not exclusively):

  • Partnership Working
    • Contribute to the delivery of a statutory Quality Partnership
    • Involve other partners, and maximise opportunities for a shared service approach with greater rationalisation of transport provision across organisations
  • Quality
    • Are innovative
    • Maximise integration with other modes
    • Encourage modal shift from car and reduce carbon emissions
    • Make best use of resources
  • Addressing need
    • Explain how needs have been identified and how they have been measured
    • Are in areas considered by the relevant Transport Authority to be experiencing market failure/ service withdrawal/ no services to maximise return on joint investment
    • Are in or linking to rural areas or in areas deemed to be within the worst 15% ‘most deprived' according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)
    • Support National Transport Strategy and Regional Transport Strategy objectives
  • Financial
    • Are match funded
    • Show commitment to deliver and continue after funding has ceased
    • Demonstrate how the service is financially viable after funding ceases
  • Key Performance Indicators
    • Show clear Key Performance indicators on how the project will be measured over the course of funding


The Bus Investment Fund (BIF) will have £3 million available. It will operate as a challenge fund to applications from transport authorities working in partnership with operators, community transport, NHS, and other public or private sector partners

Applications to the fund will be on a bidding document.

The maximum amount for an award will be £500,000 and projects will not be expected to exceed two years.


  • A fully worked coversheet & business case (see template links below) should be submitted providing the specific information requested in the application form and guidance found below .
  • This is a challenge fund so please ensure all information relevant to the project is included so it can be fully assessed. We may be in touch to clarify any of the details provided.
  • A sift of these projects will be conducted by a panel and we will notify those to be taken forward as projects
  • Transport Scotland will provide feedback to both successful & unsuccessful applicants

Apply to the Bus Investment Fund

To enter a project into the Bus Investment Fund please complete the application document and business case document  linked below and return it to: BIF@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk

Please ensure you include as much relevant  information as possible in the business case so we can take this into consideration during the marking and sifting process

Please see below for examples of how different areas of the business case could be completed.  This may help with the drafting of your application & business case.  Please note these are for guidance only and a higher specification of detail will be expected for actual submissions:

Bus Investment Fund 2013 - Projects

1. 100% Bus Stop Information in Fife (covers the Fife Council area).  The project will address the problem of having no timetables/information at bus stops in the Fife area and ties in well with both national and regional transport strategy objectives.  Much of Fife is rural where bus stop information provision is particularly important. BIF funding will pay for the costs of timetable cases and their installation.

Total Project cost - £100,000

Fund contribution - £60,000.

2. Kingswell Park and Choose – Through Access for Bus (Aberdeen).  The project will enhance an existing park and ride facility.  BIF will fund the link road to the facility.

Total Project cost - £150,000

Fund contribution -  £112,500.

3. Ring of Breadalbane Explorer (Perth & Kinross and Stirling).   The project will expand the existing bus service for future years focusing on non-school days as in the tourist season 57% of the route had no public transport coverage in this entirely rural area.

Total Project cost - £270,000

Fund contribution - £135,000.

4. A81 Quality Bus Corridor (East Dumbartonshire). The project will provide an improvement to Canniesburn Toll and Burnbrae roundabouts, providing a high quality bus service along the A81 including improved bus facilities, at bus stops, bus lanes passenger information and a bus interchange with multi modal travel hubs.  BIF will fund the Kessington and Milngavie Town Centre hubs.

Total Project cost - £1,800,000

Fund contribution - £700,000.

5. Rural Transport Solutions (Dumfries & Galloway/East Ayrshire).  The project will complement and improve the existing network by achieving efficiencies through shared use of assets in order to cut costs, safeguarding existing services in a predominantly rural area.  BIF will go toward co-ordinating costs and insurance costs.

Total Project cost - £102,000

Fund contribution - £67,000.

6. A947 Mini-Interchange Hubs (Aberdeenshire).  The project will provide access to public transport for rural communities which are not directly service by a bus service.  No park and ride facilities currently available along the A947 corridor.  Capital costs entirely covered by BIF.

Total Project cost - £700,000

Fund contribution - £500,000

7. Muckhart and West Kinross-shire DRT (Clackmannanshire/ Perth & Kinross).  The project will resolve an identified public transport problem in rural communities by replacing low frequency rural bus services with a more cost effective public transport.  This will be done by utilising local taxis/private hire car operators.  BIF will match the aggregated funding committed by the two councils and tactran.

Total Project cost - £162,000

Fund contribution -  £81,000.

8. East Inverness Bus Improvement Corridor (Inverness).  The project aims to develop a Quality Partnership to promote better bus use by reducing journey times and bus lanes on busiest corridor in the city.  Also improvements to on street facilities.

Total Project cost - £2,700,000

Fund contribution - £700,000.

9. Service 4 – Passenger Growth through Better Bus Priority (Edinburgh)  Project will address lack of reliability to service and irregular journey times. Use of bus priority system using selective vehicle detection and infrastructure improvements.

Total Project cost - £125,000

Fund contribution - £100,000

10. Service 24 –Bus Priority, Infrastructure & Frequency (Edinburgh)  Project will address lack of reliability to service and irregular journey times. Use of bus priority system using selective vehicle detection and infrastructure improvements.

Total Project cost - £466,000

Fund contribution - £406,000

11. SEStrans Regional Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI)( West Lothian and Edinburgh).  The project will deliver RTPI across multiple operators and in several local authority areas.  The project addresses one of the main reasons why people do not use buses.   BIF will cover the cost of both the purchase and installation of RTPI.

Total Project cost - £2,276,000

Fund contribution £996,000.

12. North Lanarkshire Connector Bus Service (North Lanarkshire).  The project delivers improved connectivity between key sites within North Lanarkshire by delivering transport options to a deprived area.   The project will give links to education, healthcare and the job market.  BIF will assist in funding 6 buses which SPT will lease out.

Total Project cost - £900,000

Fund contribution - £300,000

13. Deeside Community Transport (Aberdeenshire).  The project is currently self-sustainable however vehicles require replacing and funding enables the purchase of new buses to service the community which would otherwise be unaffordable.  BIF will be put towards the cost of 2 new wheelchair accessible minibuses.

Total Project Cost - £97,700

Fund contribution - £45,000.