In March, I ran a survey on this website, just to get a general ‘feel’ for what bus passengers really thought about at the time.
The survey was relatively simple, there were only a couple of questions asked, and participants were invited to make a choice whether they agreed or disagreed with certain statements.
Here are the results below:
Regarding current bus fare/ticket pricing, which of the following statements would you MOST agree with?
|Bus fare/ticket prices should stay the same to attract more passengers||65.3%|
|I’d be happy to pay a little more for bus travel, if it meant commercial services weren’t cut back or withdrawn||24.5%|
|Bus fares/tickets are too expensive||10.2%|
While a majority of participants agreed that prices should stay the same, it was reassuring to see that nearly a quarter of participants would be happy to pay a bit more to keep services sustainable.
How do you currently pay for your bus journeys?
|I have a weekly/monthly/annual Swift season ticket||24.6%|
|Other (scratch-off Daysaver etc)||18.0%|
|I pay with cash for single journeys||11.5%|
|I pay with cash to buy a day ticket (multi-operator nBus)||8.2%|
|I pay with cash to buy a day ticket (operator specific)||8.2%|
|I pay with a contactless bank card (tap and go)||8.2%|
|I pay with a Swift Go card||6.6%|
|I pay with a mobile device (M-ticket/Google/Apple Pay etc)||4.9%|
|I pay with a Swift Pay-As-You-Go card||4.9%|
|I pay with a contactless bank card (for requested ticket)||4.9%|
I do apologise to the gentleman who kindly pointed out my omission of concessionary pass holders which was an oversight on my part and was not intentional.
Most local bus operators are participating in the UK Government’s £2 maximum single fare scheme
|I am aware of this, but it doesn’t affect me as I make multiple journeys per day and already buy day/weekly/monthly tickets||69.4%|
|I’m aware of this, and the cost saving has helped me to use bus services more||24.5%|
|I didn’t know about this, I still pay £2.40||6.1%|
It is reassuring to know that most respondents knew about the £2 single fare scheme, however as I suspected, most people haven’t really benefited, but good to see that nearly 25% have.
The final question allowed respondents to select from a list of statements that they agreed with:
What matters most to you as a regular bus passenger?
|The bus network should be designed to meet the needs and requirements of travelling passengers||65.3%|
|I’d be happy to use multiple services to complete my journey if connections were reliable and journey time was reduced||57.1%|
|Busier services should use appropriate sized vehicles to minimise overcrowding||57.1%|
|Less-frequent services should operate more reliably||49.0%|
|Bus fares should be as cheap as possible||46.9%|
|Less-popular routes with lower patronage could have lower service levels rather than being completely withdrawn||38.8%|
|Buses should have Wi-Fi and USB ports as standard for charging mobile devices||26.5%|
|Buses should be zero-emission to help the environment||20.4%|
|I prefer to travel on less-direct services even if they take longer to get to where I want to go||12.2%|
It would appear that most passengers just want to get to where they need to get to, and it is interesting that most respondents would be happy to use multiple services to complete their journey, as long as the connections were reliable.
It is also interesting that zero-emission buses and ‘novelties’ such as wi-fi and USB ports are less of a priority.
Thank you to everybody who took part in this survey, I won’t publish them here but the additional comments that were left have been noted.
The total number of valid forms submitted by respondents was 49. Which itself is a disappointingly small number considering the reach of this website. But still, the figures presented are accurate for the forms that were submitted.
What I hope people will consider is how stats and data can be manipulated or even misrepresented – this survey does not accurately reflect the views and opinions of the majority of people who travel by bus every day. But other organisations can use such small datasets in order to formulate policy or influence big decisions. And looks good in the media!
This is why I think it is important that people take part in consultations and surveys, especially the ones that matter the most. Democracy should favour the wishes of the majority as a whole, not just a ‘majority of the minority’.