Learning to love the bus stop

15 December 2010

Our report on why people don’t use buses in Milton Keynes is out tomorrow – done jointly with the local council. Good place to pick on as Milton Keynes was recently named as the most car dependent town in Britain – but if it is good for cars it also should be good for buses surely?

The research is illuminating. Concerns about reliability and cost figured high. But so did the simple problem of being able to spot the bus stops! If the industry and council don’t advertise the existence of services they are going to be overlooked.

The good news is that once we got people trying the bus, the experience was much better than they thought it was going to be. The conclusions: give away lots of free bus tickets and get people trying them, plus make the bus stops visible. The humble bus stop has a long way to go ‘services every ten minutes to city centre’, ‘fast frequent services to town’ etc, etc. Bus design has come on miles but the bus stop needs the same attention. So lots of work to do with the operator and council to see if we can improve things.

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