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Responding to passenger priorities has never been more important

What are passengers’ current top priorities for transport?

Transport Focus regularly asks bus and rail passengers what their top priorities for improvement are. This is to inform what passengers feel future public transport plans should focus on and where resources are committed.

Prior to Covid-19 both of our rail and bus surveys showed that getting the basics right has never been more important to passengers. These being punctual reliable and frequent services that offer value for money.

Has this changed in light of Covid-19?

In our latest report we explored this with our community of bus and rail passengers, who confirmed that these basics are still very important, however other priorities have emerged.

“I would consider cleanliness as a very important feature now and going forward – it doesn’t end if the pandemic is over. They should continually evidence that they are providing a safe and clean environment.” Male, South West

Not surprising, feeling safe in respect to Covid-19 is a new and highly important priority. On rail, cleanliness of the train has significantly increased as a priority and it is likely to persist beyond the pandemic too.

Regular cleaning, enforcement of face-covering rules and greater prevalence of the government guidelines on buses and at the bus stop emerged as vital.

Being able to forward plan bus journeys is seen as being critical given the unpredictable state of social distancing and crowding on a given bus. Passengers want timetable information, journey planning and ticketing information integrated more seamlessly into bus providers’ apps. We’re talking to Government to ensure these bus passenger priorities are included in the upcoming national bus strategy.

Delivering these passenger priorities is vital to build back confidence in public transport. Visible evidence of safety measures such as cleanliness on vehicles and clarity of information are critical in convincing people to get back on board.

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