BUS companies would offer half price tickets for teenagers, introduce a simplified universal ticketing system and invest in hundreds of greener buses if their proposals are chosen over the mayor’s move towards franchising the network.

OneBus, which represents commercial bus operators in Greater Manchester, said its Partnership Plus proposal would deliver improvements faster without increasing council tax.

This includes a transitional period for young people coming off Our Pass, which offers free bus travel for 16 to 18 year olds, with operators offering half-fare discounts for up to six months.

There would also be a commitment to invest in 450 greener buses in the first three years of partnership, with 30 additional buses also provided where the community needs them most.

Chief executive Gary Nolan urged authorities to pool their resources and work with them to make the bus network efficient and sustainable.

He said: “We make no secret that we are willing to invest our own revenue in the infrastructure needed to introduce the changes we all want to see as quickly as possible.

"A jointly controlled network will bring about the best results more quickly than any other option, and with less cost to taxpayers across the region."

This comes as a public consultation on a proposed bus franchising scheme closed on Wednesday night with more than 8,000 responses.

Currently in Greater Manchester, individual bus companies decide their own routes, frequencies, tickets and standards.

In October, GMCA became the first city-region in the UK to launch a public consultation on a proposed bus franchising scheme. This would mean that bus services would be under Greater Manchester’s control.

Deputy mayor Sir Richard Leese said: “Throughout this consultation we have spoken to people who are passionate about their local bus services. The responses are now being analysed and will be reported back to GMCA before the mayor makes the final decision.”