Transport User Voice – A bus passenger revolution on the horizon?

25 April 2017

Things are stirring for passengers in the bus world in England. Bus companies are coming together and looking at new ways to boost bus passenger growth.

By coming together and developing partnerships between transport authorities and bus operators, passengers could be set to experience much improved services. From more modern bus fleets, better value for money fares and improved customer service training, alliances have the potential to make bus a more attractive option for passengers.

The bus alliance in the West Midlands has lead the way. Bringing together the transport authority, the region’s bus operators and the police with an independent chair from Transport Focus, passenger satisfaction in the region has risen from 79 per cent in 2012 to 85 per cent in 2016. By working in partnerships and concentrating on key factors, identified through the Bus Passenger Survey (BPS), as priorities for improvement, the alliance is starting to deliver real improvements for passengers.

In Liverpool, the City Region Bus Alliance involves the transport authority Merseytravel and local operators Arriva and Stagecoach. Established last year, the partners are aligning themselves behind common aims and aspire to be ‘the best in class’. Its target is to increase passenger satisfaction, measured by BPS, to 95 per cent. They have seen increases in overall satisfaction from 89 to 90 per cent – higher than other metropolitan areas.

Last year, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority worked with Arriva, First, Transdev and West Yorkshire Bus Operators to develop their Bus 18 strategy. Their pledges are to make buses easy to use, reduce emissions and improve customer satisfaction and passenger experience.

We’ll be watching closely to see what improvements are delivered for bus passengers.

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