Centro House 16 Summer Lane – B19 3SD Birmingham – United Kingdom
Tel : 44 121 200 2787 – Fax :44 121 214 7010
– Chief Executive: Geoff Inskip
– Date of creation: 1985
– Status: Public Corporation
– Personnel: 364
Centro (the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority) takes a lead role in co-ordinating and developing public transport services across the West Midlands.
Centro represents the 2.6 million people who live and work in the metropolitan districts of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Money is raised from Council Tax payers, from the Government and through private sector finance. There are 27 councillors from the districts who guide the policies and work of Centro.
The West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) was created in 1969 following the 1968 Transport Act. The West Midlands Metropolitan County was formed in 1974 as a result of the 1972 Local Government Act and incorporated Coventry.
The 1985 Transport Act deregulated and privatised bus services across the UK. From that date, WMPTE assumed its new role co-ordinating the services of all local private bus operators and adopted the name of Centro shortly afterwards to distinguish itself from its previous role as an operator.
The Local Transport Act 2008 gave Centro and other PTEs enhanced powers, including the right to rename themselves Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs). Centro became an ITA in February 2009.
Centro works in partnership with the Local Authorities, bus, rail and tram operators and the general public to improve the public transport network, subsidise socially necessary bus services, provide bus shelters, operate bus stations and promote and develop Midland Metro.
Centro is also a co-signatory to the rail franchise awarded to Govia, which took effect in November 2007. In addition Centro also funds free travel for people who have reached the age of entitlement and disabled people, and half price travel for the under 16’s.
The West Midlands Metropolitan Area gross value added (GVA) at current basic prices (2011): £48.520 billion which equates to £18,146 per head of population, lower than the UK average of £21,368. This accounted for 3.62% of UK economic activity in 2011 as measured by GVA.