This is a clear indicator of the state of the 'public' transport options. They are often non-existent, not competitive, unreliable, unclean and unsafe.
All one would need to do is look at the taxi-to-bus/tram-journey-ratio to see that public transport in Greater Manchester is nowhere near as convenient as in similar size conurbations (Hamburg, Rome, Oslo, Amsterdam, Barcelona).
The private sector has shown no interest in providing a competitive, reliable, clean service. Well, why should they? They are in it for the profit. But people are beginning to realise that it is becoming unaffordable to fill private bus companies' coffers. Time for change.