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Author Topic: Buses - passenger demand and social distancing  (Read 627 times)
Bus_Lady
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« on: June 27, 2020, 08:26:38 am »

So as number of Coronavirus cases continues to decrease, and already this week I am noticing bus passenger numbers are increasing (especially among the teenagers / early 20’s) on my local buses. Though the government’s message continues to be to use other forms of transport rather than public transport if you can …

So I have been thinking of the future…. more shops are opening…and soon pubs and restaurants will be opening. This will mean not just more workers will need to catch the bus but also leisure passengers will begin to use them again.

What can be done to promote buses while social distancing is in place, even if it’s only 1+m, given that buses can only carry around 1/5 of their capacity.

First Bus have developed an app to show if their bus is full. Also First Bus will display a “bus is full” sign on their destination screen if it has reached capacity given social distancing.

Is it time to introduce Uber type bookings given as lockdown is eased buses will soon be full (especially at peak hours) and people try to board mid route probably won’t be able to get on? What will their employers say if they turn up very ;late for work saying their bus was full.

So an Uber-style system could help but then what about those who haven’t got access to online booking systems? Telephone booking?
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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 01:01:52 pm »

I cant support any form of booking for local buses. One merit of bus travel is simplicity, requiring use of a smart phone or PC to make a local bus journey, no way!
The railway industry has done its best to overcomplicate fares, ticketing, and validities. It would be most regrettable if buses follow this trend.
And even on the railway, local services still operate a turn up and go service without reliance on apps, smartphones or the internet.

When the bus fails to turn up, whom gets priority on the following bus ? Those who had booked on the cancelled bus, or those booked on the next one ?

And what about those working in Mcjobs who are expected to work "voluntary" overtime at the last minute ? I doubt that employment would last long if they declined on the grounds of missing their booked bus.

Ultimately, restrictions on buses will have to be lifted if any semblance of normal life, including travelling to work is to return. The wearing of face coverings and better cleaning of vehicles would seem prudent at least until the end of the year.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
froome
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 01:05:24 pm »

So as number of Coronavirus cases continues to decrease, and already this week I am noticing bus passenger numbers are increasing (especially among the teenagers / early 20’s) on my local buses. Though the government’s message continues to be to use other forms of transport rather than public transport if you can …

So I have been thinking of the future…. more shops are opening…and soon pubs and restaurants will be opening. This will mean not just more workers will need to catch the bus but also leisure passengers will begin to use them again.

What can be done to promote buses while social distancing is in place, even if it’s only 1+m, given that buses can only carry around 1/5 of their capacity.

First Bus have developed an app to show if their bus is full. Also First Bus will display a “bus is full” sign on their destination screen if it has reached capacity given social distancing.

Is it time to introduce Uber type bookings given as lockdown is eased buses will soon be full (especially at peak hours) and people try to board mid route probably won’t be able to get on? What will their employers say if they turn up very ;late for work saying their bus was full.

So an Uber-style system could help but then what about those who haven’t got access to online booking systems? Telephone booking?

I haven't yet seen this on my local service, though at least one I have been on has been 'over the limit' (11 people on a bus where only 7 seats where officially available). Certainly round here (in Bath) I would be surprised if bus drivers make much attempt to stop people boarding. They certainly haven't made any attempt to enforce the face mask rules.

I was wondering what the protocol is when you get on a bus and find every seat that you are supposed to be allowed to sit on is taken. Are you supposed to stand, or take a seat that is at least one metre distant from others?
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 08:56:22 pm »

There is a saying I’ve hears in political circles of an idea being "a solution looking for a problem.” I wonder if this thread is an example of one.

We are currently being told to avoid public transport whenever possible. Given the Shower in Power’s recent record, such as U-turns on face masks and quarantine, and the attitude they’ve shown about the lockdown that it only applies to us mere minions and not a blind man driving to Barnard Castle, they might change their minds again by next Tuesday.

We have people apparently falling over themselves calling for more guidance, more clarifications, more protocols, more rules, more regulations – all (apparently) designed to stop a few nutcases doing daft things that they will probably keep on doing anyway irrespective of whether the rules are tightened, clarified or defined or not.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is springing to mind...

It’s nothing to do with buses I accept but, if I had decided to take a trip to Bournemouth last Friday and then found the beach looked more like the Notting Hill Carnival on a hot Bank Holiday, I would not have added to that number. There is one hell of a lot of beach between Studland and Christchurch, and I am sure there would have been quite a few quiet bits within a few hundred yards of Bournemouth Pier, and I would have found one of them.

Ditto, in a way, buses. If a bus turns up that has more people on it than I want to be that close to, I am quite able to make my own mind up as to whether or not I get on. I am under no obligation, legal or otherwise, to get on a bus, even if I’ve put my hand out as I see it coming.

I do not need to be treated like a bloody five year old by the government, a bus company, a TOC or anybody else by being given additional rules that are not being put there to stop me doing anything I’m doing, but to try to stop nutcases being nutcases that the new rules won’t stop anyway. “Mummy might know best,” but mine has been in her box since 2010 and I am in no need of a new one...

There were many people I know on the buses I used before lockdown that wouldn’t know what a mobile phone is, let alone a computer or an app. So yes bus companies, introduce your app-based reservation systems as much as you like, but don’t expect some of your regular customers to come back to you once all this is over.

Rant over
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 07:15:15 am »

There is a saying I’ve hears in political circles of an idea being "a solution looking for a problem.” I wonder if this thread is an example of one.

At the height (or is that depth) of lockdown, with public transport passengers down to under 5% of the norm, that might have been true.  With changes to social distancing rules and also of what's open and how much people are obeying the rules, the questions "do we have a potential problem" and "how do we keep to safe levels and ensure people don't get stranded" are rightly being asked.

I was ... rounded on ... in another thread a while back when I asked about being able to take a local train somewhere, reported as carrying up to 3 people with a capacity in 45, as being selfish in case "you deny a place to a key worker" .... yeah, right - as if 40 key workers who had not been travelling suddenly turned up!   But as numbers rise again, "how do we ensure" is at least worth a thought.

Quiet background comment.  My understanding is that bus drivers are encouraged to use discretion - not to leave vulnerable people at the roadside, to take everyone on the final service of the day, and to go over load on services which are infrequent. But this is not to be shouted as people will come to rely on it, and because implementation may be patchy.

The need to prebook is a serious dis-incentive personally to me. Perhaps part of the reason for suggesting it / having it happen is to control growth?
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 08:07:58 am »

There is a saying I’ve hears in political circles of an idea being "a solution looking for a problem.” I wonder if this thread is an example of one.

We are currently being told to avoid public transport whenever possible. Given the Shower in Power’s recent record, such as U-turns on face masks and quarantine, and the attitude they’ve shown about the lockdown that it only applies to us mere minions and not a blind man driving to Barnard Castle, they might change their minds again by next Tuesday.


Rant over


One of the most poisonous and loaded phrases.

If we had fewer people screaming "U-TURN!" at politicians every time there is a reaction to rapidly evolving and changing advice, evidence and circumstances, there may be more of a willingness to make those alterations more swiftly rather than waiting until we are overtaken by events.

Unfortunately, it inevitably brings political considerations and point scoring into what should be decisions that are made solely in the best interests of the people.

Nothing personal, just an observation - can't beat a good rant now and again!  Smiley
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 12:41:55 pm »

... such as U-turns on...

One of the most poisonous and loaded phrases.

If we had fewer people screaming "U-TURN!" at politicians every time there is a reaction to rapidly evolving and changing advice, evidence and circumstances, there may be more of a willingness to make those alterations more swiftly rather than waiting until we are overtaken by events.

Unfortunately, it inevitably brings political considerations and point scoring into what should be decisions that are made solely in the best interests of the people.

Nothing personal, just an observation - can't beat a good rant now and again!  Smiley


In fact I wholeheartedly agree with you. I don't like that phrase either, and there is something to be said for all people, and not just politicians, who change their minds in the light of changing circumstances.

The phrase was used in my post for two reasons. First for reasons of brevity (I expect you will agree that my posts are often over-long alReady!) The second is that there is a change of mind and a change of mind. Good when taking on board new facts, bad when chasing the curve, wanting to be seen to be doing something, or pandering to populism.

The  most stark, to me at least, is this 14-day quarantine which anyone with more than two brain cells could drive a coach and horses through the justification. Firsty it wasn't at the port of entry, so quarantinees (if there is such a word) would have to travel within the country to get to their chosen quarantine point. Second it is unenforceable in reality - even if phone calls or visits were to be made by those in charge, who's to stop someone saying "Yes I'm here" on behalf of the person concerned, or "he/she's alseep and I'm not waking them" or whatever. Thirdly, as is being strongly hinted at in the news currently, is that the whole idea is going out of the window in this coming week by the use of euphamistically-called "air bridges" (a lot of use between Dover and Calais that...)

Nothing of substance has changed in the few weeks since this idea was dreamed up, save one. After the knee-jerk reaction to the "we don't want them dirty forrinners cummin over 'ere bringin' their dizzieses wiv 'em"mindest, we then have to quickly respond to the "sod your lockdown - we want to go to the Costa Brava" mindset.

Presumably there are more tory voters who want to go on holiday than don't like diseased forrinners...

This bus example is just another knee jerk reaction to a problem that does not currently exist to any great degree, and is unlikely to do so until passengers are being encouraged back onto public transport.

In the short term there is a very simple way to control passenger numbers on a bus. Ban standing passengers and take some seats out. Another even better method is to leave both the driver and the potential passengers to use their common sense.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 01:32:21 pm »

Second it is unenforceable in reality - even if phone calls or visits were to be made by those in charge, who's to stop someone saying "Yes I'm here" on behalf of the person concerned, or "he/she's alseep and I'm not waking them" or whatever.

Youve missed the obvious excuse...... "Sorry, they've just taken their car to Barnard Castle to test their eyesight
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Clan Line
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 03:33:23 pm »


If we had fewer people screaming "U-TURN!" at politicians every time there is a reaction to rapidly evolving and changing advice, evidence and circumstances..................

.............people like Emily Maitlis, Laura Kuennsberg, Nick Robinson, Justin Webb et al could stay at home and do the gardening.........but there again, I suppose they all have gardeners  Roll Eyes
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2020, 05:05:11 pm »


If we had fewer people screaming "U-TURN!" at politicians every time there is a reaction to rapidly evolving and changing advice, evidence and circumstances..................

.............people like Emily Maitlis, Laura Kuennsberg, Nick Robinson, Justin Webb et al could stay at home and do the gardening.........but there again, I suppose they all have gardeners  Roll Eyes

Ironic, isn't it, that just a few months ago Corbyn's supporters were screaming "Tory BBC Bias" at Ms Kuennsberg et al, whereas now the same journalists are holding Boris's feet to the fire on a daily basis and getting similar complaints from the Conservatives - just goes to show what an invaluable and impartial organisation we have in our national Broadcaster!
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Clan Line
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 08:53:57 pm »

My comment was not aimed at any political bias one way or the other - it was aimed the hypocritical, screeching, tyre burning, U turn the BBC (as a whole) did when Boris announced the forthcoming reduction of the "social distance". After weeks of "why are we still staying at 2 m  ? " the line changed overnight to "is 1m safe, is it too soon ?"  Thank God the football is back to keep them distracted.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 11:28:46 am »

My comment was not aimed at any political bias one way or the other - it was aimed the hypocritical, screeching, tyre burning, U turn the BBC (as a whole) did when Boris announced the forthcoming reduction of the "social distance". After weeks of "why are we still staying at 2 m  ? " the line changed overnight to "is 1m safe, is it too soon ?"  Thank God the football is back to keep them distracted.

It is not the BBC's job to agree or disagree with policians of any flavour.

It is their job to challenge and question them, and also to put the alternative view, whatever that happens to be.

Personally I am rather glad that we can get our news from the BBC rather than the likes of Fox News.
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froome
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 12:24:24 pm »

I have now seen a couple of buses on my local route with Bus Full signs on them, out of about 4 or 5. With increasing numbers of passengers, there seems to be the very real chance that if you live halfway along a bus route (which I do), you could find that every bus just passes you by, and you are left there for hours.

It seems odd, to say the least, that this has been brought in while the services are still reduced in frequency. It would have made much more sense to restore services to the normal frequency and to then have brought it in.

I'm also perplexed as to the different treatments of buses and trains, both run by the same company. Buses are running round with most of their seats unavailable, while trains have nothing in them to stop you sitting next to anyone else. Why this difference?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 12:27:08 pm »

I'm also perplexed as to the different treatments of buses and trains, both run by the same company. Buses are running round with most of their seats unavailable, while trains have nothing in them to stop you sitting next to anyone else. Why this difference?

Easier to monitor and enforce I guess?
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 02:46:23 pm »


It is not the BBC's job to agree or disagree with policians of any flavour.

I never said it was

It is their job to challenge and question them, and also to put the alternative view, whatever that happens to be.


Agree - but it makes the BBC look very silly when one day they are criticising something, then when the body/person being criticised does what the BBC has been criticising them for not doing - the BBC then criticises them for doing it !! The Today programme has now become adept at that.

Personally I am rather glad that we can get our news from the BBC rather than the likes of Fox News.


Won't argue with that !

Think we are going a bit off-topic here  Grin
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