Independent transport industry organisation Transport Focus unveiled the results of an extensive bus passenger survey at a Conference held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Reading recently.
Shadow Minister for Local Transport and Reading East MP Matt Rodda attended, and met with a variety of representatives from municipal bus companies, private operators, industry publications and passenger focus groups.
Whilst there is an overall decline in the passenger numbers nationally, some bus companies were reporting growth, including here in Reading where passenger numbers have increased for the fifth year in a row. Of particular note were matters which affected passenger satisfaction and journey experience, specifically with regard to roadworks and congestion. Improving the passenger journey experience was discussed at length, with particular focus shifting towards a better-suited onboard environment, and bus operators nationally are being encouraged to look at their audio-visual facilities, next stop announcements and driver training. In addition, the further development of smarter technologies and contactless payments was seen as a way to improve the quality and content of passenger-facing information, and another determining factor when considering passenger satisfaction.
Following the conference, Matt said:
“It was great to have the transport focus report launched in Reading; it is real tribute to Reading Buses which is one of the highest performing bus companies in the country, and is one of the leading municipally-owned companies in England. I was particularly pleased as a recently-appointed Shadow Transport Minister to be able to welcome people into my constituency to discuss improving the passenger experience on buses around Britain.”