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Author Topic: Missing - a strategy for buses?  (Read 713 times)
grahame
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« on: October 02, 2018, 07:45:37 am »

https://www.transport-network.co.uk/Continuing-decline-in-bus-use-prompts-call-for-national-strategy/15342

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The Go-Ahead Group - London’s largest bus operator - has highlighted that while the Department for Transport has clear strategies for rail, roads, aviation, cycling and walking, it does not have one for bus services.

The company said a strategy was 'urgently required to boost patronage, tackle congestion, improve air quality and address social exclusion'.

Such a strategy should incentivise bus prioritisation measures to reduce congestion and deliver smart solutions – such as demand-responsive transport – to meet changing consumer demand, Go-Ahead Group argued.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 10:10:55 am »

Goes well with the announcement of cancellation of the fuel escalator for another year.

Fuel escalator also mention in LGAs Sustainable Travel report https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Final%20Sustainable%20Travel%20Report%20July%202018.pdf
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broadgage
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 12:31:25 pm »

Of course there is a strategy for buses.

"Provide as little as possible, reduce this provision year on year. Avoid publishing timetables. Hide the bus stops. Cancel whenever bad weather threatens. Hopefully everyone will forget about buses"
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
ellendune
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 09:10:00 pm »

Of course there is a strategy for buses.

"Provide as little as possible, reduce this provision year on year. Avoid publishing timetables. Hide the bus stops. Cancel whenever bad weather threatens. Hopefully everyone will forget about buses"

Then build busways instead of urban railway schemes so that you can then run cars on them because there are no buses. 
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eightf48544
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 10:30:10 am »

Also how can you have a strategy if bus is supposed to compete with bus, plus train, taxi, Uber and car.
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simonw
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 11:07:31 am »

Having waited for a bus this morning, ( two not appearing) it was third time lucky for me with the printed schedule and First Bus App.

Party of the strategy must include enforcement for schedules, and punishment if buses do not run. For a route to loose two consecutive buses is not really acceptable, and for the App not to tell you is really annoying.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 03:43:46 pm »

Having waited for a bus this morning, ( two not appearing) it was third time lucky for me with the printed schedule and First Bus App.

Party of the strategy must include enforcement for schedules, and punishment if buses do not run. For a route to loose two consecutive buses is not really acceptable, and for the App not to tell you is really annoying.

The enforcement to the registered timetable by the Traffic Commissioner is (in theory) there.  Having taken an hour and three quarters from Bath to Bristol the other week, I can sympathise with the bus operator when he's not got vehicles / crews to run the return journey - but the crucial thing is then knowing what the state of play is if you're waiting for a bus.

For readers not familiar with trains ... two in succession never can cancelled  Grin  Grin.  Well - hardly ever. Or is that only on a Sunday?   Or only on the minor lines?
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GBM
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 07:05:41 am »

Now here's an idea
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/oct/15/i-leave-the-car-at-home-how-free-buses-are-revolutionising-one-french-city?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other  (pictures didn't copy over)

'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city
Dunkirk is a month into a project that makes it the biggest European city to offer entirely free public transport to residents and visitors alike. So what do people think?

Cities is supported by
Rockefeller FoundationAbout this content
Kim Willsher in Dunkirk

Mon 15 Oct 2018 07.30 BST Last modified on Mon 15 Oct 2018 18.49 BST
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 A poster advertising free bus services
 The free bus service in Dunkirk was initially offered on weekends and national holidays but was extended a month ago to operate every day. Photograph: Francois Lo Presti/AFP/Getty Images
One month after the French channel port of Dunkirk introduced free public transport for all, a small revolution is taking place.

Two women, perfect strangers until now, are chatting across the aisle about nothing in particular. One admits she sometimes takes the bus “just for the fun of it”. A young man wearing headphones is charging his mobile in a socket just above the “request stop” button.

On another bus, Claude Pointart, 65, who is retired, says free buses mean her pension goes further. “I’m saving money and they come every 10 minutes so I don’t have to wait long. But there’s a lot more people taking the bus so you have to avoid the rush hour if you want to sit. Still, I think it’s a good thing.”

 Claude Pointart, a passenger on a Dunkirk bus
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 Claude Pointart, a passenger on a Dunkirk bus. Photograph: Emmanuelle Depecker
On a city bus making its way around the historic port city, passengers smile at the driver and say “Bonjour” as they board. Some of the city’s fleet of new buses, painted in dazzling colours – pink, orange, green, yellow and blue, with upholstery to match – have wifi. The urban authorities have plans for debates, music and possibly the occasional celebrity on board. A “Sport-Bus” with an interactive game, quiz screen and a selfie camera is already in operation.

Georges Contamin, 51, says he has reconsidered how he travels about the city since the buses became fare-free. “Before, I almost never took the bus, but the fact they are now free as well as the increase in the cost of car fuel has made me reflect on how I get about,” Contamin says.

 I never used the bus before. It was too much bother getting tickets or a pass
Marie, passenger
At the bus stop opposite the port, even the persistent drizzle and howling wind rocking the boats cannot dampen Marie’s enthusiasm. “I never used the bus before,” she says. “It was too much bother getting tickets or a pass. Now I leave the car at home and take the bus to and from work. It’s so easy.”

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One month ago, Dunkirk – with a metropolitan population of 200,000 – became the largest city in Europe to offer free public transport. There are no trams, trolleybuses or local commuter trains, but the hop-on-hop-off buses are accessible and free – requiring no tickets, passes or cards – for all passengers, even visitors .

The scheme took its inspiration from Tallinn in Estonia, which in 2013 became the first European capital to offer a fare-free service on buses, trams and trolleybuses, but only to residents who are registered with the municipality. They pay €2 for a “green card”, after which all journeys are free. The city has reported an increase of 25,000 in the number of registered residents – the number previously stood at 416,000 – for which the local authorities receives €1,000 of each resident’s income tax every year.

 A resident of Tallin in Estonia taps his green card to use public transport
Facebook Twitter Pinterest  Residents of Tallin in Estonia pay €2 for a green card which gives them free access to buses, trams and trolleybuses. Photograph: STRINGER/EPA
Free urban transport is spreading. In his research Wojciech Keblowski, an expert on urban research at Brussels Free University, says that in 2017 there were 99 fare-free public transport networks around the world: 57 in Europe, 27 in North America, 11 in South America, 3 in China and one in Australia. Many are smaller than Dunkirk and offer free transit limited to certain times, routes and people.

In February this year, Germany announced it was planning to trial free public transport in five cities – including the former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim. In June this was downgraded to a slashing of public transport fares to persuade people to ditch cars.

The largest in the world is in Changning , in China’s Hunan province, where free transit has been in operation since 2008. Passenger numbers reportedly jumped by 60% on the day it was introduced.

A study into free public transport by online journal Metropolitics found an increase in mobility among older and younger people, and an increased sense of freedom.

 [Fare-free transport is often] associated in France with a lack of value and, by extension, a lack of respect
French transport union
Niort in west France introduced free buses for its 125,000 residents a year ago. Like Dunkirk, its income from fares was around 10%. The city authorities say passenger numbers have been boosted by 130% on some routes.

One month on, the Dunkirk mayor, Patrice Vergriete, who promised free public transport in his 2014 election campaign, says the project has been an overwhelming success, with a 50% increase in passenger numbers on some routes, and up to 85% on others.

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Sitting in his large office under a poster of Nelson Mandela, Vergriete claims it is a win-win measure for his home city, where previously 65% of trips were made by car, 5% by bus and 1% by bicycle. The other 29% walked.

“The subject of free public transport is full of dogma and prejudice and not much research. This dogma suggests that if something is free it has no value. We hear this all the time in France,” he says.

 Free public transport for Dunkirk was a key promise of Patrice Vergriete’s 2014 electoral campaign.
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 Free public transport for Dunkirk was a key promise of Patrice Vergriete’s 2014 electoral campaign. Photograph: youaintseenme/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Money, he says, is the obvious inconvenience. Before the buses were free, fares raised around 10% of the network’s €47m (£41.6m) annual running costs. A further 60% was funded by the versement transport, a French public transport levy on companies and public bodies with more than 11 employees, and 30% came from the local authority. Vergriete says a rise in the company transport tax has made up the fare shortfall – meaning no rise in taxes for local households.

Bus routes have been extended, with special lanes and city centre priority introduced. The fleet has been expanded from 100 to 140 buses, including new greener vehicles which run on natural gas.

“The increase in passengers since it went free has surprised us; now we have to keep them. We’re trying to make people look at buses differently. We have put the bus back into people’s head as a means of transport, and it has changed attitudes.

 It may be that the financial cost is too great, but don’t underestimate the social advantages. You can’t put a price on mobility and social justice.
Patrice Vergriete
“Before, when they paid, it was a service and they were customers. They may have been only contributing 10% of the cost of running the service but they thought it was theirs. Now it’s a public service they look at it differently. They say ‘bonjour’ to the driver, they talk to each other. We are changing perceptions and transforming the city with more vivre ensemble. We are reinventing the public space.

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“Before the bus was for those who had no choice: the young, the old, the poor who don’t have cars. Now it’s for everyone.”

Free public transport, however, also has its critics. The French transport union UTP believes fare-free transport is often “associated in France with a lack of value and, by extension, a lack of respect”.

Claude Faucher of the UTP said: “That it should be free for those passengers with financial difficulties … could be perhaps justified. However, completely fare-free for all users would, we believe, deprive [public] transport of resources that are useful and necessary for development.”

In Paris the income from tickets on public transport is reported to make up half the running costs. When mayor Anne Hidalgo suggested she would look at scrapping fares, Frédéric Héran, a transport economist, said the measure “made no sense”.

 Passengers wait on a Paris metro platform
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 Passengers wait on a Paris metro platform. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
“Who will the new public transport users be?” he asked. “All studies have shown they will be cyclists, then pedestrians and very few motorists. This clearly shows it’s an anti-cycling, anti-pedestrian measure and not very discouraging to cars.”

Vergriete believes this is all part of an erroneous received dogma. He admits free public transport may not work everywhere, but says that, as well as being good for the environment, it is a social measure, a gesture of “solidarity” and promotes a more egalitarian redistribution of wealth than tax cuts.


Get smart! How a 90s bus pass trial transformed London travel
 Read more
“We have been pragmatic: we looked at the advantages of free transport and weighed them against the disadvantages and decided €7m is not a lot to pay for all the benefits. If I can pass one message to other mayors it’s to fight the dogma. Put the advantages and disadvantages on the table and consider it realistically. It may be that the financial cost is too great, but don’t underestimate the social advantages. You can’t put a price on mobility and social justice.”

Additional reporting by Emmanuelle Depecker

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Perhaps I can already hear a distant cry of "oooos goona pay for it"    Wink
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 08:26:14 am »

'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city
Dunkirk is a month into a project that makes it the biggest European city to offer entirely free public transport to residents and visitors alike. So what do people think?

I would suspect all sorts of elephants and pseudo-elephants to be thrown up by "thems" if the idea was pressed;  why not start off with "10% free" - if the day number ends in a zero, it's free ... great chance for people to be tempted to try public transport from time to time and some will pick up the habit ... I expect all sorts of hippos and pseudo-hippos (much more dangerous than elephant) will be thrown up by my suggestion!
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 09:08:58 am »

Why not define several trunk (spine routes) that are free.

This could be funded by a Council Transport Fund, from a household levy.
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ellendune
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 08:46:48 pm »

This could be funded by a Council Transport Fund, from a household levy.

For a city with many commuters into it from outside the City boundary a business levy would be more reasonable.  Nottingham City have a workplace parking levy to pay for public transport.

More details here
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Lee
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2018, 03:22:51 pm »

Why not define several trunk (spine routes) that are free.

That got me thinking - What if we took the core bus routes from our Option 24/7 North & West Wiltshire Bus Franchising Proposal Pilot Area, franchised them and then made them fare-free?

These would be the following colour-coded service groups:

TRANSWILTS YELLOW - Bath-Corsham-Chippenham corridor including Chippenham and Corsham town bus routes.

TRANSWILTS GREEN - Bath-Melksham-Devizes and Chippenham-Melksham-Trowbridge-Frome corridors including Melksham and Devizes town bus routes.

TRANSWILTS ORANGE - Chippenham-Calne-Royal Wootton Bassett-Swindon and Chippenham/Calne-Devizes and Trowbridge-Devizes/Calne-Marlborough corridors including Calne town bus routes.

TRANSWILTS BLUE - Bath-Bradford-on-Avon-Trowbridge-Westbury-Warminster-Salisbury corridor including Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury and Warminster town bus routes.

Using grahame's Working out the costs of running a bus service through the day as a guide, I allowed for a Monday-Saturday roster of 40 vehicles on a 13-hour cycle between 0600-1900 and 12 vehicles on an 18-hour cycle between 0600-2400, plus a Sunday roster of 12 vehicles on a 16-hour cycle between 0800-2400.

I estimated that this would come out somewhere between £9.5 million and £10.5 million per annum depending on how much competition between the private bus companies there was in the tendering process, which in turn would determine how much of a profit margin they would build into their bids.

Given that we also designed our proposed network to integrate with rail as far as possible, it would be interesting to see what impact the overall package, fare-free, would have if implemented.
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2018, 06:11:46 pm »


On a city bus making its way around the historic port city, passengers smile at the driver and say “Bonjour” as they board.

Soon, they will be saying «Santé, Conduire!» as they dismount.
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