Throughout Great Britain, with the exception of Greater London, public transport is operated by commercial companies who decide what services to run and what fares to charge. However, these services do not always meet the social needs of the community as a whole.
Passenger Transport Authorities are responsible for providing the services and facilities which the market does not provide in large conurbations. Elsewhere this responsibility is undertaken by local County Councils.
The County of Greater Manchester has a Passenger Transport Authority. It is located in the North West of England and consists of ten District Councils; Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
The District Council in each of these areas contributes finance from local taxes and appoints local councillors to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority to represent their district. The Authority decides on public transport policy for the county and provides the funds for GMPTE to carry out these policies. GMPTE is the trading name of the county's Passenger Transport Executive whose role is to carry out these policies.