Transport Secretary Mark Harper has refused to commit to extending the £2 cap on bus fares in England.
The promotion – launched at the start of the year – is due to expire at the end of June.
Asked by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee if the scheme will be extended, Mr Harper replied: “That was very much a cost-of-living measure.
The Cabinet minister said there is anecdotal evidence the policy has resulted in “a bit of an increase in patronage”, but in the first month this was “not enough” to offset the cost.
He added: “It is quite costly for the taxpayer to deliver and obviously that will have to be taken into account.”
A three-month continuation of the cap on fares from the end of March was announced in February, costing up to £75 million of Government funding.
This coincided with an extension of the same length to funding introduced at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to keep bus services running despite the drop in demand, at a cost of up to £80 million.