Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – July 2021 – The route ahead for bus passengers

29 June 2021

What can help get people back on bus?

Clean and reliable bus services with clear information on safety measures will help encourage passengers back.

We asked more than 7500 current, lapsed, and non-users about bus services in England, outside of London. The survey looked at experiences of taking buses during Covid-19 restrictions and how to get people using the bus more.

Safety played a big part in how people felt about using buses. 97 per cent of passengers who said they felt very safe were satisfied with their journey, dropping to just 17 per cent for those who felt very unsafe.

It’s also important to reassure those who haven’t been using the bus. Almost half of lapsed passengers and non-users say they are anxious about taking the bus.

Passengers who have been using the bus less, or stopped altogether, want to see clean and well-maintained buses, social distancing measures and the enforcement of face coverings (except for those who are exempt) to encourage them back.

Chief executive, Anthony Smith, said:

“As restrictions look to be eased in late July it’s important that people see taking the bus as a welcome option.

“For bus use to pick up to pre-pandemic levels operators and transport authorities must listen to, and act on, what passengers tell them they want from their services. And they need to make sure they are doing all they can to help make sure returning passengers feel safe.”

To help get passengers back on buses, Transport Focus recommends bus operators:

  • promote and communicate Covid safety measures such as maintaining increased cleaning
  • let passengers know how busy buses are expected to be
  • offer special fares and discounts to attract people to travel
  • keep focussed on delivering frequent, reliable and punctual services.

 

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