Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon are among 16 SNP MSPs that have signed a letter urging First Bus to reverse its plans to axe night services in Glasgow.
In the letter, sent to the managing director of First Bus, Duncan Cameron, the politicians describe the decision as an “appalling blow” to Scotland’s largest city.
Earlier this week, First Glasgow announced it would end all of its night buses by the end of the month.
The company said as few as 14 people were using them per hour and that the service had been running at a loss for some time.
The news prompted anger from Glasgow residents, trade unions, politicians and the night time economy in the city.
Writing to the travel operator, MSPs representing areas in and around Glasgow urged the firm to reverse the decision.
“It is not an overstatement to say the weekend late-night bus service is a lifeline to so many within Glasgow and the surrounding areas, and the removal of this service will have a detrimental impact on many of our constituents and Glasgow’s industries,” the MSPs said.
“Bus services (like yours) offer safe, low cost and low-carbon ways for people to travel – even more vital in the midst of a cost of living crisis, a climate emergency, and when concerns over the safety of people (in particular women) travelling in the evenings is being examined”
The letter lists late-night workers, tourists, those in the hospitality sector, women and minority communities as among the most affected by the move.
They added: “Ultimately, cancelling the night bus service will come as a devastating blow to many of the constituents and businesses we represent.
“We urge you to reconsider your decision to cancel the weekend night bus service.”
MSPs voiced concern that those working late shifts may be forced to pay for taxis home.
Unite Hospitality said workers could be forced to spend two hours’ worth of wages to get home or walk late at night.
The letter is signed by 16 MSPs including Yousaf, Sturgeon, Clare Haughey, Kaukab Stewart, Bill Kidd, Christina McKelvie, Neil Gray, James Dornan, Bob Doris, Ivan McKee, Collette Stevenson, Rona Mackay, Stephanie Callaghan, Clare Adamson, George Adam and Fulton MacGregor.