Dundee City Council has said it wants to run its own bus services.
The Scottish Government is currently carrying out a consultation on the future of bus service provision across the country.
As part of the consultation, respondents are being asked if they believe councils should be able to franchise their own bus companies.
This would take the franchise back into public control, giving the local authority absolute power over where and how services are run.
Dundee City Council has called for “unambiguous” legislation that would allow transport authorities to directly run services.
The council’s response states: “There are areas of Dundee that bus operators have made clear can no longer be offered a commercial service.
“The power to run bus services would give the transport authority the opportunity to fill the gaps in a commercial market with its own in-house fleet of vehicles and achieve better value for money than can be achieved through procurement of bus services from a limited marketplace.”
Discussing the council’s response at a meeting of the city development committee this week, Labour West End Councillor Richard McCready said bus companies are the only private firms that benefit from what is essentially advertising on the council’s website.
Currently, private operators set up services and only run the most profitable routes.
Less profitable routes have to be subsidised by local authorities, which means they pay private companies to operate them.
Mr McCready said: “Buses are run in the interests of the shareholders and I think they should be run in the interests of the people of Dundee.”
Conservative councillor Derek Scott questioned whether it would really be cost effective for the council to run and maintain its own fleet of buses.
However, head of roads and transport Neil Gellatly said: “We already have a fleet of large vehicles and drivers and think we could operate buses on a more cost effective basis.
“There are opportunities being missed the commercial sector can’t provide.”
But he said it the council would not make any moves towards setting up a fleet until a franchise became available.
Labour north east councillor Brian Gordon, a former bus driver, said services had got worse since the market was deregulated 30 years ago.
But Mr Gordon, speaking as he recovered from fracturing his shoulder after slipping on ice on Wednesday, said he could not see any council-owned bus company being set up “any time soon”.