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Author Topic: FGW represented at Travel Plans event  (Read 1216 times)
A V Lowe
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« on: July 16, 2010, 08:19:33 am »

I bumped into an FGW (First Great Western) member of staff attending the informative meeting in Ashford to discuss the Station Travel Plans project's second year progress.  There were some interesting initiatives raised, the massive boost to Plusbus when the ^1 flat rate promotion ran this year, and the increasing number of booking clerks who are being briefed (or remember) to ask "would you want a Plus bus/London Travelcard " when selling a basic ticket - this sells the option of a complete journey package and of course means that the rail company gets revenue potential from the whole journey and not just the rail portion.

It was also interesting to note how others are working to get their earning power up (with RATA commission) and improve passenger convenience - for example Easyjet cabin crew are selling rail tickets from Stansted, and Luton during the flight - bringing in thier commission and saving passengers a wait in the queue for rail or coach tickets at the airport. Elsewhere a bike hire operator sells inclusive day-out deals of rail travel plus bike hire - not a disjointed concept of showing your rail ticket for a discount, but selling the whole deal as a single purchase - it must work as they are still in business and with a growing portfolio of bike rides after 4 years.  Would it work if on train staff were able to promote and offer onward travel 'add-on' products, as they carry out ticket checks?

But the brilliant deal is the Taxishare idea from Milton Keynes, where the Council brokers a consolidation service to gather 3 passengers (or more) as a clustered group to fill a taxi and pay a pro rata rate for the trip to the station - doing this for commuters, who book by the week (minimum period).  The taxi operator gets a monthly settlement, and the commuters are similarly offered a widened range of billing options, with the Council deducting a percentage for sustaining and managing the system.  There is no great loss to conventional taxi business, as these customers tend to be those who would previously have driven in and filled up costly car parking spaces.  If demand develops beyond a 7 seater vehicle then a good case can be made to actually run a bus.

The Conference was organised by ATOC» (Association of Train Operating Companies See - here) and ACT-Travelwise - and should have post event detail on the websites
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