The million-peopled city
The vast Sums of Money spent by the London Population in Omnibus Riding.
Low as omnibus fares now are, there is probably expended every year by the public of the metropolis the enormous sum of 3,000,000l. in omnibus fares. The population of the metropolis is only about 2,500,000 persons; so that there is an average expenditure of 24s. by each inhabitant in London every year in omnibus riding, which would pay for 96 three- penny rides. But as infants in arms ride free, and are all, therefore, an addition to the number of riders, and as the inmates of workhouses, prisons, hospitals, &c., on the one hand, and those, on the other hand, too high in rank to patronize such plebeian conveyances, and many other classes, are shut out from these conveniences, the parties actually using our metropolitan omnibuses must each, on an average, expend nearly double the amount specified, and have pro- bably each an average of 200 economical rides during the year. This vast branch of locomotion is, in fact, the greatest in the country, next to railway traffic; and, as will hereafter be shown, even greater than that, so far as the metropolis is concerned. Thirty thousand horses are employed in con- nexion with the London omnibuses. It costs very nearly 1,000,000l. each year to provide them with necessary hay and straw, and more than three-fourths of that sum to buy them corn. The mere shoeing of the horses may be reckoned at 7,800l. a-year, and the wear and tear of each omnibus is at the rate of 501. a-year.