Transport User Voice – May 2021 – Will there be space on board?

28 April 2021

Looking at best practice for passenger information

How do I find out how busy my next train or bus service will be?

As people begin to return to travel Transport Focus has looked into the information provided by rail and bus operators to help passengers avoid busier services.

Our new report provides a number of examples of industry innovation and best practice which should be replicated across the country.

We found that many but not all operators now give information about space on board their services.

The results of our survey with more than 5000 transport users shows nine in 10 people would find it useful to have information on how busy services are as soon as restrictions begin to be eased. Even when Covid-19 is less of a risk more than eight in 10 say they would find this information useful.

In the coming weeks and months reliable information will help passengers plan, avoid busier services and make social distancing easier. To help people make informed decisions operators should make crowding information available on website journey planners, apps and other places like National Rail Enquiries and Traveline.

Operators should also continue to improve information by offering greater personalisation, including proactive alerts to passengers if their services are disrupted or likely to be busier than normal.

Transport Focus is calling for transport operators to:

  1. provide information about space on board services where it is not already available
  2. ensure information about space on board is as accurate and reliable as possible and is promoted to encourage further use
  3. learn from best practice to ensure the information about space on board is easy to understand, transparent, trusted and accessible
  4. provide information about space on board in journey planners to ensure information is easy to find.


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