CTBW – But what do the passengers think?

David Sidebottom
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Buses deliver a vital service to passengers, getting them to their places of work, education, leisure and healthcare. But what do those passengers actually think about those services….and why is that important?

You might be aware that each year Transport Focus, the independent transport user watchdog, seeks the view of real bus passengers. We ask them to rate their most recent journey to provide a benchmarked and comparable measure of their satisfaction. This is important because we work very closely with bus operators and transport authorities to use this information to help them make improvements to services, to make them even more attractive to passengers and potential users of bus services.

So what do we know about bus services? In 2014 we asked nearly 50,000 passengers in England and Scotland to rate their service. Overall satisfaction with journeys ranged from 83% to 93%. We also asked bus passengers to rate their satisfaction with the value for money of their journey – this ranged from 45% to 73%. To put this in context…satisfaction with rail journeys ranged from 72% to 96% and value for money ratings ranged from 33% to 76%. So, bus passengers are generally a pretty satisfied bunch of people!

We ask bus passengers lots of additional questions to help provide us and the industry with the detail that helps identify where and how improvements can be secured for current and future passengers.

Since we started doing this work in 2009, we have heard from nearly 150,000 passengers and have used their voice to secure journey improvements ranging from better fare deals, training to help drivers deliver a better customer service and attention to the things that really make a difference such as more punctual and reliable bus services.

Transport Focus welcomes Catch the Bus Week and we hope that the many current and new bus users take a look at our data on what existing passengers think about their local bus services. All our information can be found through our data explorer which allows anybody to delve deeper into our research:   http://data.passengerfocus.org.uk/bus/

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