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All across the Great Western territory => Buses and other ways to travel => Topic started by: grahame on June 28, 2020, 08:05:10 am



Title: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: grahame on June 28, 2020, 08:05:10 am
Walking out of my home on a whim to the nearest bus stop and hopping on a bus without worrying about if there will be space isn't really an option at present.  Lots of barriers.   What would put you off using the bus?

A couple of options explained ..

"Significant wait along the way" is where a change is needed and at present it's a long wait there.

"Having to book ahead" is anything which requires prior notification - e.g. a phone message to book a place

...


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: broadgage on June 28, 2020, 09:43:17 pm
What would put me off the most would be having to book in advance, interested to see that this is the most chosen response, admittedly from a small number of responses.
Apart from the hassle factor, I would be concerned that the system would not work.

Despite some problems, I consider national rail services to be generally more professionally run than local buses.  I have nevertheless experienced numerous booking failures on trains.
If the railway cant manage reliable bookings, then I very much doubt that a bus operator could cope with such.

Variable fares would not worry me directly, but I consider them to be an undesirable complication with risk of doubt and dispute delaying the bus.
If I could pay on the bus and it sometimes cost £4.60, and at other times cost £7.11, that is acceptable provided that even the higher fare was a lot cheaper than a taxi, and not significantly more than the train fare if there is a train.
If however I had to buy the ticket in advance from a third party, then I would be pretty disgusted if the £4.60 ticket already paid for, was ruled invalid due to some subtle change in rules.
Especially if I had to throw away the first ticket and buy another, missing several buses whilst so doing.

Before considering adding any complications to bus travel, get the basics correct first.
Put up clearly visible bus stop signs.(no more "stops outside the pub that was knocked down years ago")
Display timetables that are in date. (and guaranteed to remain valid until the expiry date printed thereon)
Run a reliable service.


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: grahame on June 28, 2020, 09:58:36 pm
Display timetables that are in date. (and guaranteed to remain valid until the expiry date printed thereon)

Lot of good stuff there.  Forgive me picking up on just one item.

Around here, bus timetables ONLY have "valid from" on them ... no expiry date.   Done (I was informed) so they can both be changed at short notice without having false data out there, and run for a long time without having to keep reprinting with new dates. 

A pain because you never know when you pick up something saying "valid from" whether it's actually current, even if that date is just a month or two back. 


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: GBM on June 29, 2020, 08:47:36 am
.............
Run a reliable service.
When things were normal & perhaps when things return to 'normal'
Idealistic phrase.
Operators have an ideal in mind.
Schedulers plan the ideal, even leaving 10 minutes (if you're lucky) between runs.
Drivers struggle to even reach 'on time',
Schedulers seem to forget 'rush hours' (traffic jams; peak traffic; temporary roadworks; large numbers of passengers at certain times (sorry Drive, only got a £20, followed by several other £20's!), etc.
Visitors who don't know the stops, or ask visitor type questions, thus ensuing further delays.
Let's not even go for breakdowns or staff shortage  ??? ::)


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: Bus_Lady on June 29, 2020, 09:41:08 pm
Graham for me the barrier to catching a bus is the threat of catching Coronavirus..I have heard of examples of Coronavirus that have spread through the transport system of people catching it in clusters though this was at the height of the virus / early days of lockdown I believe....I know I have relatively low risk of catching it in my part of the world now. However, I have watched buses go by and see the number of people not wearing face coverings. It doesn't do anything to restore my confidence...and want to get on a bus. I am lucky at the moment that I don't have to catch the bus in some respects but would like to support it again...


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: PhilWakely on June 29, 2020, 09:56:58 pm
My only reason for using public transport currently would be for the relatively short journey from Pinhoe into Exeter.

In the current (Covid) climate, the threat of catching Covid would prevent me from catching the bus and that also applies to the train as our 'train' service is a replacement bus for the duration of the emergency timetable. My daughter is a shopworker who normally catches the train, but as the journey is only 3 miles, we have resorted to ferrying her by car for the moment.

When things do return to a semblance of normality and a vaccine is available, the train would win the argument as the train takes 5 minutes whilst the bus nearly an hour going around the houses and has a fare nearly twice that of the train


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: LiskeardRich on June 30, 2020, 09:39:29 am
Pre booking isn’t an option under existing regulations and laws for service buses so we can safely disregard that without law change.


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: grahame on June 30, 2020, 10:26:46 am
Pre booking isn’t an option under existing regulations and laws for service buses so we can safely disregard that without law change.

Indeed - though I think we've had a few regulation and law changes at short notice of late.

Is it that pre-purchase of a ticket for a specific service is not allowed, or that a bus must take anyone waiting for it if ...
* it has room
* they can pay
* they are fit to travel without being a risk or nuisance to themselves or others?


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: bobm on June 30, 2020, 10:43:46 am
For any concerns I have, if I need to travel across town (and I do from time to time) the bus is my only option other than an expensive taxi.


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: LiskeardRich on June 30, 2020, 06:13:09 pm
Pre booking isn’t an option under existing regulations and laws for service buses so we can safely disregard that without law change.

Indeed - though I think we've had a few regulation and law changes at short notice of late.

Is it that pre-purchase of a ticket for a specific service is not allowed, or that a bus must take anyone waiting for it if ...
* it has room
* they can pay
* they are fit to travel without being a risk or nuisance to themselves or others?

It has to be turn up and go.

The reduced capacities at present are not set in law, the vehicles certified capacity remains unchanged. It is my discretion if I exceed 19 on a double decker for example.
The RMTs only social distance demand is a 2m exclusion zone around the driver.
I’ll be blunt I’m not leaving someone in the middle of nowhere on an infrequent service for the sake of having 20-25 on a decker instead of 19. Most of our vehicles have high back seating which acts almost as a segregation too


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: grahame on July 05, 2020, 10:21:43 am
This poll of public transport users just closed (5th July 2020) asked "What will put you off travelling by bus in the near future?"  Less than 8% replied that they would use the bus "whatever the issues".  The bus industry clearly has a job on its hands to woo back theses customers when the time is right, let alone attract new ones.

Two thirds of respondents said they would be put off having to book ahead (that's not a good advert for demand responsive services, is it?) and just over a half would be put off by not being able to maintain social distance.  4 out of 10 wouldn't use the bus because of a significant risk of not being able to get on ...

The sample size was small and self-selecting, but never the less the results point to a major re-marketing job that'll be needed to persuade people back to public transport, and help highlight those issues which are serious concerns at the present time.

Having to book ahead   - 18 (64%)
Not being able to maintain social distance on bus   - 15 (53%)
Having a significant risk of not being able to get on   - 11 (39%)
Significant wait along the way   - 9 (32%)
Risk of being quizzed about "do you need to travel"   - 8 (29%)
Having to travel earlier / later than ideal due to sparse service   - 7 (25%)
It's much easier to drive at present   - 7 (25%)
It's much easier to walk/cycle at present   - 7 (25%)
Variable pricing - more expensive on popular days   - 4
Not being sure when it would reach destination due to variable route   - 1
I use the bus whatever the issues   - 2
I would never use a bus anyway   - 0
Sample size - 28


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: chuffed on July 07, 2020, 10:44:19 am
What puts me off right now ...in fact I would use a much stronger word than puts .....is the fact that the First journey planner has given me buses for the new Portishead to Bristol hourly x3x services,for the last 2 days, when the local stop digital display shows Amber cloud initialising and the timetable panel still shows the Covid 19 display that has been there since mid March. All I see on the road are x3 and x4 buses. Add to that we had an hourly service on Saturday and a half hourly one on Sunday. First seem to be doing everything backwards , and making a real effort to put people off travelling altogether !


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: LiskeardRich on July 07, 2020, 01:07:59 pm
Chuffed Stop displays are normally local authority operated.
Roadside timetables take time to produce and then even longer to put up, there will be delays in these times of frequent change as demand changes. The roadside publicity refers you to the online journey planners and timetables on the company website, so I’d say Firsts own website is the most reliable source for up to date running.
3rd party timetables like travelline are not keeping up.


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: bobm on July 07, 2020, 01:40:25 pm
The council operated ones in Swindon haven't worked for around two years.

However a new one showing departures outside the railway station has been installed in recent months.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/swistnbus.jpg)


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: Surrey 455 on July 07, 2020, 02:32:35 pm
The council operated ones in Swindon haven't worked for around two years.

However a new one showing departures outside the railway station has been installed in recent months.

I presume that's a touch screen display?


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: bobm on July 07, 2020, 02:52:49 pm
I don't *think* so - although in the current circumstances I didn't fancy touching it to find out.


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: froome on July 07, 2020, 05:02:51 pm
Chuffed Stop displays are normally local authority operated.
Roadside timetables take time to produce and then even longer to put up, there will be delays in these times of frequent change as demand changes. The roadside publicity refers you to the online journey planners and timetables on the company website, so I’d say Firsts own website is the most reliable source for up to date running.
3rd party timetables like travelline are not keeping up.

Here in Bath, when I walked into town yesterday, all the digital displays had the Amber, Cloud, Initialising display and then said to see the timetable display. However, all the roadside displays had been removed, and were blank. So there was no mention anywhere about looking at any website (and this assumes that all users would have web access while at a bus stop, which I don't and nor do many others).

I was aware of the changes in timetable, so what I wanted was the real time information, which the display would normally give. I don't understand why that should not have been working yesterday, as it shouldn't be affected by timetable changes, should it?


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: chuffed on July 07, 2020, 05:51:51 pm
With reference to Liskeard Rich's comment about LA produced timetables....a couple of years back, I challenged North Someret's public transport department about having replaced all the timetables locally a week ago, and then changed them all again a week later, complaining about a waste of money. The rather sniffy response I received  stated that with a state of the art laser printer in the corner, they could print as many timetables as they liked at the touch of a button.
So why have they been caught out this time, when the new timetables have been out for over a week ?


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: Surrey 455 on July 07, 2020, 08:02:19 pm
The council operated ones in Swindon haven't worked for around two years.

However a new one showing departures outside the railway station has been installed in recent months.

I presume that's a touch screen display?
I don't *think* so - although in the current circumstances I didn't fancy touching it to find out.

The reason I asked is that the display seems to have several clickable links at the top, bottom and possibly within the timings.


Title: Re: Buses - what would put you off using them soon?
Post by: chuffed on July 07, 2020, 08:05:22 pm
Arriva have asked passengers to sit one seat per row from tomorrow.



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