Stoke-on-Trent City Council is offering operators who take on three currently subsidised services on a commercial basis the use of a bus for each one free of charge.
Loss of funding from Staffordshire County Council means that three routes in the city will cease to operate in June, The Sentinel has reported.
But the City Council has offered the sweetener of an Optare Solo from its own fleet for each service in the hope that they may continue.
City Council cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage Daniel Jellyman – who previously announced the removal of a number of bus lanes in Stoke-on-Trent – told the newspaper: “We want out residents to have access to the best bus services possible.
“But it’s important to stress that bus operators are private businesses and they make decisions based on profitability.”
The City Council will continue to support one service. It and the three under threat are operated by Scragg’s Coaches.