Meet the busketeers

20 September 2019

A couple of weeks ago we launched a campaign to encourage more people in the West Midlands to Give Bus A Go. My colleague Linda McCord has an update…

We started the campaign because we know from our Bus Passenger Survey that those who use the bus rate it highly with almost nine out of ten users saying they were satisfied. Yet many people don’t view the bus as a transport mode of choice.

View our report here.

We kick-started the campaign at Wolverhampton bus station by introducing some people, the ‘Busketeers’, who rarely or never travel by bus but are giving it a go in September and sharing their journey experience with us.

So, how are they faring?
The Busketeers are recording many positive comments about quality of new buses, good shelters, punctual services and friendly bus drivers with one saying: “The cheery driver welcomed us on board and even gave us a mini weather forecast which he assured us would be blue skies the rest of the day.”

We know from our Bus Passenger Survey that the bus driver is instrumental in passengers feeling that they have had a really good experience, great to hear this backed up.

Alex has given various buses a go and is finding the experience pleasant and convenient. He particularly likes that the bus stops have both live bus times and printed timetables, he is happy that the buses are on time and connections at interchanges have worked really well.

He feels though that some journeys would’ve been greatly improved by Wi-Fi. We know that young bus passengers like Alex value being able to make good use of their time on the bus and reliable internet access is key to this.

Bernie feels her journey experiences are mixed. Some she describes as fast, great service and arriving exactly on time. Other journeys involved waiting as the bus was late and some were overcrowded. She finds stops that have live bus information very useful. Knowing exactly when that bus is coming provides great reassurance for a waiting passenger.

Feedback images from the Busketeers

Denis is enjoying the experience and is largely positive about the journeys he has made. However, one journey did not deliver: “I waited for three buses with only the fourth actually turning up. It was really my first bad experience, but it was amplified due to time pressures today”.

Being let down, even on one journey as Denis experienced, sticks in people’s minds and can influence their choice not to continue using buses. Delivering punctual reliable services consistently is critical.

The Busketeers continue to Give Bus a Go for the rest of this month. We are using their experiences to encourage others to do so too. We will also highlight areas for improvement with bus operators.

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