Transport User Voice – April 2022 – What’s next for our bus surveys?

28 March 2022

And are concessionary fares just the ticket?

The future of our bus surveys

Are concessionary fares just the ticket?

What’s next for our bus surveys?

Covid-19 threw up some challenges in the way we do surveys and brought a temporary stop to some of them. This includes our Bus Passenger Survey which gave a great insight into what passengers want from buses and how they could improve.

We’ve been working on how to capture bus passenger journey experiences and testing out a number of ways to get the best data. We’ve just completed testing in Greater Manchester, Devon and the combined authority area of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. This follows on from some earlier trials that we did last year. It also builds on useful discussions with people in the industry that have helped us shape a new bus passenger satisfaction survey.

We asked bus passengers to complete a survey about the journey that they were making. In a change from the previous Bus Passenger Survey, most of the interactions with passengers were made at bus stops, rather than on board buses. We’re also aiming to collect most responses through an online survey rather than paper questionnaires.

The main purpose of the trial is to test the survey design (including finding out what levels of response we get) rather than to use the survey findings as a measure of current passenger satisfaction. The findings from the trial will help us to refine the survey approach ahead of a more widescale survey that is likely to start after the summer.

Concessionary bus tickets

Coming soon – we’ll be looking at concessionary bus travel. The amount of concessionary bus users returning to travel has not come back in the same way that fare paying bus passengers have. We want to find out why this is.

We’re going to be asking people who use concessionary passes how often they use buses currently and what journeys they take. We’ll be looking at potential future use and asking those who no longer use the bus the reasons for this.

We’ll also be talking to those people who are able to get a concessionary pass but don’t use the bus and what could be done to get them to give it a go.

The aim of the research is to show operators and transport authorities what they can do to encourage bus travel for these groups.


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