A £700,000 city council scheme to provide security guards on Birmingham buses has been branded a waste of money that would do little to cut crime.
Labour believe it would be better to invest in CCTV security cameras and community police officers.
The council's Tory-Lib Dem coalition is intent on recruiting bus wardens, who would travel on routes prone to vandalism and violence.
The wardens would be a reassuring presence to lawabiding customers and make vandalism less likely, according to the coalition.
But the idea is unlikely to get the backing of Travel West Midlands, the region's largest bus operator.
TWM believe that wardens would have no legal powers to evict passengers.
The impasse - with the council no nearer getting the scheme off the ground five months after announcing the project - sparked a bitter row at the cabinet.
Tory council leader Mike Whitby described as "childish" Labour's insistence on referring to the wardens as bus bouncers.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of the Labour group, said: " Centro and the bus companies have all along said that what they want is not bus wardens but the money invested in CCTV cameras and community support officers in order to monitor people who are vandalising buses and causing a nuisance."
Council leaders remain hopeful that ongoing talks with Centro, the passenger transport authority, will resolve the stand off.
Paul Tilsley, deputy council leader, urged TWM to be more flexible.