As Transport Focus publishes its latest Bus Passenger Survey, based on fieldwork completed between September and December 2019, the country is living through an unprecedented ‘lockdown’.

The global coronavirus pandemic continues to affect everyday life, including transport services and usage – for the latest updates on this, see our dedicated page.

However, it is important that decisionmakers and operators have the insight they need to ensure that, when services resume, they can meet the needs of passengers. With 43,872 passenger responses it is the largest survey completed in the ten years of the Bus Passenger Survey and the world’s largest piece of regular published bus passenger research.

Overall satisfaction in the journey last taken by passengers reached 89 per cent across England (outside London) – which again shows that passengers value their service. There is a range in results across authorities from 76 per cent to 95 per cent in overall journey satisfaction. However, there is a much wider variation in ratings for factors such as value for money, from 50 per cent to 77 per cent, and the punctuality of services from 53 per cent to 84 per cent.

We know that those who use the bus, both value and rely on their service. With around half of passengers telling us they had no alternative form of transport for the journey they had just taken, people depend on local service to get them to their places of work, education, shopping and leisure.

We can once again see that the bus driver is the single most influential aspect of a passenger’s journey that helps deliver that ‘great’ journey. At a time of crisis when we need to get our essential workers to do their very best by us, it is worth saying again that we are truly grateful for the huge efforts being made by bus operators, drivers and other frontline staff to make sure this happens.

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