Bus operators can best secure their future by serving young passengers better, says independent watchdog Transport Focus.
Overall satisfaction for young bus passengers between 16 to 18-year old has risen to 80 per cent (from 77 per cent in 2017), however they remain the least satisfied group of passengers.
Transport Focus has published Making bus a better choice for young people – a good practice guide to help bus operators and local authorities make bus a better choice for young people.
Earlier this year, bus operators and local authorities participated in a series of workshops convened by Transport Focus to start a nationwide conversation on how to make buses more appealing to young people.
David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, said:
“More bus operators and local authorities are pursuing creative initiatives that encourage young people to catch the bus.
“Young people are the biggest users of the bus – but don’t feel services are designed for them.
“Young people want using the bus to be as simple and intuitive as ordering pizza. Bus operators and local authorities must seize the opportunity to cater for their customers of the future.”
Buses minister Nusrat Ghani MP said:
“Buses are vital for communities, helping people go to work, school or see friends and family. New technologies such as contactless payment and Wi-Fi make it easier and more attractive for people to get on a bus.
“Young people take the bus more often than any other age group, so this Transport Focus research is vital in showing how to encourage them to continue to use buses in the future – both councils and bus companies should follow this best practice.
“We’re also funding a new open data platform so companies can develop apps to help passengers find out where their bus is, how long it will take, and how much it will cost, giving them more confidence to take the bus.”