It winds its way through some of the most picturesque countryside in Lancashire and can set you back as little as £1.50 a go.
But a bus trip around the sleepy villages of the Ribble Valley on the Pendle Witch Hopper costs taxpayers an astonishing £23.59 in council subsidies for every passenger on board, making it the most expensive rural bus route in the county.
At a time when emergency service budgets are being hacked to the bone, Lancashire County Council is handing over more than £7m a year in subsidies to private bus firms to keep loss-making services on the road.
The Witch Hopper is one of almost 150 routes in the county which need public money to keep running. French-owned company Transdev picks up an estimated £14,153 for providing the four-times-a-day service which runs on Sundays through the summer months and attracts only around 600 passengers annually - or three per bus.
The 5B service between Clitheroe and Chipping, via Longridge, which operates on Thursdays during the summer, sets taxpayers back £11.84 a passenger.
And the Bowland Transit service, which runs between Clitheroe, Slaidburn and Settle and serves 22,000 passengers a year, attracts a subsidy of £11.59 for every tripper.
Stagecoach, which benefits from subsidies for a host of rural services throughout Lancashire, reported operating profits on its deregulated routes of £165m last year.
Across the country around 22 per cent of bus routes outside London are subsidised. Yet, as councils are forced to make drastic economies to balance their books, some are now looking at cutting back on rural bus services whether they leave residents stranded or not.
But it isn’t just rural services which cost the taxpayer a tidy sum in subsidies. The County Council stumps up more than £500,000 in subsidies to support some services from Preston to New Longton and Longton (12 and 12A), Penwortham (13 and 13A), Bamber Bridge and Leyland (112) and Chorley (114).
Preston’s Park and Ride services are helped out to the tune of a £112,000 subsidy, although they carry around 600,000 passengers in a year.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for environment and transport, explained: “The large majority of bus services across Lancashire are run solely on a commercial basis, but subsidies have been established on a number of routes where there are concerns communities could become isolated without them.
“Subsidies are a last resort and we do everything we can to persuade bus operators to find ways of maintaining important routes on a commercial basis first.
“The council’s budget for bus subsidies is already very limited and will have to be examined in detail, just like every other area of the budget, as we seek to manage the huge funding cuts being imposed by Government.”