People who catch the bus love the bus – almost nine in ten passengers satisfied

14 March 2019

Almost nine in 10 passengers using buses were satisfied with their last journey in the latest annual survey by independent watchdog, Transport Focus.

Almost 50,000 passengers took part in the Autumn 2018 Bus Passenger Survey. In England 88 per cent of them were satisfied with their last bus journey, 91 per cent in Scotland.

In England passengers on Trent Barton buses in Derbyshire were the most satisfied overall with their journey at 96 per cent, while Diamond Bus passengers in Worcester were the least satisfied with 60 per cent.

Satisfaction with value for money ranged from 81 per cent to 44 per cent across the areas surveyed in England (averaging 64 per cent).

David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, said:

“Nearly half of passengers surveyed in England say the bus is the only real means of transport available to them, so it’s vital that their service is on time, reliable and offers good value for money.

“Bus companies like Trent Barton show what can be done when bus operators and transport authorities use the Bus Passenger Survey results to identify improvements for their passengers.

“It is good to see improvement in overall satisfaction ratings for younger bus passengers. This builds on recent campaigning by Transport Focus to make bus a better deal for young passengers.

“There are also huge variations in satisfaction with value for money ratings across England and Scotland, so there is still room for improvement. More operators and authorities must work together to attract new passengers and ensure bus continues to provide an essential lifeline to communities.”

Other key findings in England include:

  • satisfaction with punctuality ranged from 83 per cent to 60 per cent (averaging 74 per cent)
  • satisfaction with the greeting offered by the bus driver has risen to 76 per cent in 2018 (from 74 per cent in 2017)
  • the proportion of passengers who said they experienced behaviour during their journey that caused them to worry or feel uncomfortable ranged from four per cent to 10 per cent (averaging 6 per cent)
  • satisfaction among 16 to 18-year olds has risen to 80 per cent (from 77 per cent in 2017)
  • satisfaction with the journeys made during peak hours is lower – 85 per cent in the morning and 83 per cent in the afternoon, whereas outside the peak overall satisfaction is at 90 per cent.

Notes to editors

The Bus Passenger Survey (Autumn 2018) is published today by Transport Focus.

For further information members of the media can contact Kieran Watkins on 0300 123 0836 or email:

Overall satisfaction by bus operator group (England)

Arriva – 87 percent
First – 83 per cent
Go-Ahead – 92 per cent
National Express – 84 per cent
Stagecoach – 90 per cent

About the Bus Passenger Survey

Transport Focus spoke to 48,931 passengers across 49 areas and operations in England (outside of London) and 9 in Scotland about their overall satisfaction with their journey.

The survey also assessed their satisfaction for a wide range of aspects including value for money, the bus stop, waiting for the bus, on the bus, outside the bus and the bus driver.

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