Public transport campaigners fear evening and weekend bus services in Birmingham could be hit after transport chiefs slashed £500,000 from funding for less popular routes.
Regional transport body Centro is cutting subsidies for threatened bus services from £8.6 million to £8.1 million.
Centro said it could avoid scrapping services by making operators more competitive through the bidding process for subsidised buses.
But transport campaigners have said they fear that spiralling costs for operators will put extra pressure on the reduced fund for next year and lead to routes being axed.
“Realistically, this is going to mean cuts to services which people rely on to get to night shifts or to the hospitals,” said Kevin Chapman, chairman of the West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport.
“They might be able to save £500,000 by changing the bidding process but we will see a lot of operators looking very carefully at what they can afford to run.
“As the operators make their cuts, it will put huge pressure on that amount of money and it won’t be enough.”
The decision to cut funding is likely to be taken today (Monday) even though a report in to financing acknowledges that there is growing demand for bus subsidies.
Centro contributes towards 9.9 million journeys on routes which are not profitable but are deemed “socially necessary” or give access to employment.
But its funds are under pressure from cash strapped West Midlands Councils which pay towards its running costs.
As well as cutting subsidies, it has reduced its grant to the Ring and Ride service for elderly people by 7.5 per cent next year.
A Centro spokesman said: “Unlike many local authorities around the country, we are not proposing to make any cuts to our subsidised bus network.
“In the West Midlands we are fortunate in having a very competitive market for our subsidised bus services and on average we have five different private bus companies bidding for each contract.
“Experience has shown us that we can make a modest £500,000 reduction in our £8.6 million bus subsidy budget as a result of this fierce, on-going competition for the work we put out to tender.”