Transport User Voice – May 2021 – Chief executive’s editorial

28 April 2021

We want to hear from you

Feedback from the frontline – from transport users – is vital for services to be crafted in a way that meet their needs as transport user numbers start to climb fast.

At Transport Focus, we always base what we say on evidence. During the pandemic we have been using our weekly omnibus survey to ensure we know what users and those thinking about travelling are feeling. This is along with online Transport User Communities and our own standing Transport User Panel – which now has, after a recent recruitment drive, over 18,000 members.

We have hatched plans to build back our large-scale user surveys. We are pleased to report the Strategic Roads User Survey is now back – online only. We have carried out a rail passenger survey for the Department for Transport, the results of which will be out next month. We are trialling new ways of gathering bus user satisfaction in the West Midlands. Everything we learn can help underpin the new local Bus Improvement Strategies and a possible faster than anticipated return to travel.

We are also looking at how to reach the ‘seldom heard’ more effectively. A report on this should be out next month. Plus, new work on ‘segmenting’ our insight into types of user and non-user – moving away from the traditional ‘business’, ‘leisure’ and ‘commuter’ and towards a more multimodal approach. Have a look at the early outputs here and see where you fit!

Sitting in on some of our focus groups on consumers and sustainable travel was sobering – behaviour change is difficult! We are using this insight to discuss how, if at all, we can be more useful in the debates around the climate crisis. Transport Focus has to date focused on making public transport a more attractive choice. More recently we have started work on the user experience of electric vehicle charging to help people feel confident about switching. But is there more we could or should do?

So, we are working to ensure that, as we emerge from the pandemic, Transport Focus is as useful as possible and continues to make a difference. You can never go wrong talking to users.

And finally, do you enjoy reading Transport User Voice? Please let us know what you think and how we can make improvements to suit what you want to see by filling out our reader survey.


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