In a bid to reduce emissions from the vast fleet of buses that operate in and around the Manchester area, Greater Manchester Public Transport Limited have come up with a winning initiative that promises to not only slash exhaust emissions, but reduce fuel costs, ticket prices and get Manchester fit.
"It's such a simple idea," said Pat Carnivore, de facto junta leader of Manchester City council. "I wish we'd come up with it before we'd had to slash our budget by half the staff."
Manchester buses are already being converted to use the revolutionary new mechanism, with an expectation that they will be in use sometime early in the new year.
"Each seat on the bus has pedals," said Carnivore. "The more you pedal, the more you get back when you leave the bus."
People pay a much higher original fare on boarding the bus, but if they pedal sufficiently, they can reduce their fare to essentially nothing.
"We've done careful calculations," said Carnivore. "Even modest pedalling will slash fares for passengers. Full on pedalling and the journey will be free. Free loaders will be paying extra. It's win win."
It's not reasonable to expect one person on a bus to be able to provide sufficient power to move a whole double decker, instead the pedals feed into the electrical section of the bus's hybrid engine.
"A full bus will require no fuel," said Carnivore. "Additionally, it will store up enough energy to reduce fuel costs when it is not full."
The new scheme is expected to cost forty-two million pounds, but recoup this in just one week from the amount saved in reduced diesel costs. Especially if the price goes up again.
"As well as fuel savings," said Carnivore, "this will increase people's aerobic fitness. This will in turn make them healthier, and they'll live longer, happier lives, and be less of a drain on the NHS. What can I say? I'm a genius."
"He's a nutter," said one passenger. "I've got angina, I can barely walk, and now I'm going to have pay more bus fare, because I won't be able to pedal without dying between stops."