I find The Guardians objections to busing annoying. They imply that if some segment of the bused population doesn't end up better off than these programs are called into question. I'd say that if some population is left better off than they would have otherwise have been than it's a net benefit as a social program but that this shouldn't even be the basis for judging the program.
It's pretty normal liberal nanny state bullshit, trying to make sure that people make good decisions for themselves. The way I see it, if municipalities are better off and a person wants a ticket, regardless of the how things shake out in the end it's a good program.