Passenger Voice September 2015: Quality bus proposals for the West of England
28 August 2015
Punctual, reliable and offers value for money – this what bus passengers want from their bus service. So how might new bus services in the west of England deliver this?
We have responded to the plans for new bus services in the west of England MetroBus Quality Partnership Scheme to push for passengers’ priorities to be met.
MetroBus is a set of express bus services planned by Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council, with guided busways, bus stop facilities and traffic signal priorities.
Our response to the consultation looks at how the proposals meet the needs of passengers:
- Punctuality targets are clearly set out, which we welcome, and provision for compensation for delays is particularly positive. It will be important that information on how to claim is prominently displayed in order to get maximum consumer benefit out of this proposal.
- Driver attitude and helpfulness score highly in our priorities for improvement work. So we are pleased to see the proposal include standards for drivers, including being polite and providing assistance for passengers with disabilities. We would also like to see a wider commitment to the role of the driver in delivering customer service in terms of training, delivery and how this will be monitored.
- The commitment to include real-time displays at every stop is very welcome and goes well beyond what is provided on most bus routes. Our research found a clear desire for better information, as passengers feel powerless when faced with delays.
- Proposals point to smartcards and electronic ticketing. While our research demonstrates passenger support for new forms of ticketing, it also shows expectations for more flexible types of tickets. Procedures for switching to smartcards must be easy to use and well explained.
Our full response to the quality partnership consultation can be found here.