Passenger Voice August 2016: Improving bus journeys in the West Midlands

29 July 2016

A new alliance of bus operators is set to invest £150 million in transforming bus travel in the West Midlands.

This alliance, the first of its kind in the country, will be chaired by Transport Focus. The money will be invested by operators and partners between now and 2021.

The alliance will be run by a board that is made up of councillors and representatives from bodies including Transport Focus, Transport for West Midlands, local authorities, bus operators, West Midlands Police and is supported by the Department for Transport. It is chaired by Transport Focus’s Linda McCord.

Operators will need to meet rigorous new standards on key issues for passengers such as vehicle emission levels, branding, maximum fares and frequency.

The alliance will tackle such quality issues as removing older, more polluting buses. It will also work to ensure objectives set down in the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority’s bus policies are met. These include:

  • customer satisfaction levels remaining at over 85 per cent (measured by Transport Focus Bus Passenger Survey)
  • fare rises of no more than the Retail Price Index plus one per cent per year
  • increased investment in highways infrastructure to aid journey times.

Other areas the alliance will look to address include better ticketing options, increasing the number of people travelling by bus and a better on-board experience through improving Wi-Fi.

Click here to read more about the alliance.

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