Senior Traffic Commissioner punctuality consultation – Passenger Focus response
05 December 2013
Our research shows that improving punctuality is bus passengers’ top priority; their satisfaction with punctuality is lower than their overall satisfaction with their bus service.
We commissioned new passenger research to inform our response to the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s consultation.
Passengers want timetables to reflect traffic conditions and other variables. They see the timetable as a ‘guide’ and accept waiting up to five minutes for the bus to turn up, but they do not expect buses to depart early. We support what the Guidance says on these points.
We would like to see more emphasis in the document on bus companies managing operations in real time.
We agree that a sample of bus journeys should be regularly monitored – this sample should be weighted towards busier services since these affect more passengers.
All of the evidence suggests that the proposed 100% standard is not achievable. The document could be strengthened by drawing a clearer distinction between standards and targets and by being more consistent about what it says about them.
Passengers distinguish between poor punctuality (represented by their bus turning up late at the start of their journey) and ‘delays’ (the bus arriving late at their destination). Passengers would like bus operators to take any steps they can to help them manage their journey.