Transport User Voice – May 2018 – Buses hit the headlines!

26 April 2018

You wait ages for a bus story to come along, then another comes along at the same time!

Good to see bus passengers in the news for the right reasons. Free concessionary travel on off-peak local English bus services has been protected indefinitely.

Our England-Wide Concessionary Bus Travel: The Passenger Perspective showed that passengers cherish the scheme. Older and disabled people said they found it invaluable to get out of the house, many making journeys they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Meanwhile the opposition has promised free bus travel for under 25s, where transport authorities introduce a bus franchising scheme or move to public ownership. Young people use the bus more, but are less satisfied, than any other group of passengers.

Our recent report Using the bus: what young people think found that, while in many respects young people want the same thing from their bus journey that we all want (value, punctuality and reliability), they also felt:

  • services aren’t designed with them in mind
  • improving the journey experience is important; they notice poor quality provision
  • there is a need to design systems better; learning from other industries in the way they appeal to young people
  • fares for young people are confusing and inconsistent.

We’ve already used this insight to encourage transport authorities and operators in areas such as Merseyside and West Yorkshire to introduce easy-to-understand and easy-to-use fare deals for young people. This has produced growth in the numbers of young people travelling, as well as improved satisfaction. More wins in the pipeline hopefully…

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