Following hot on the heels of our last blog which explored the issues around pricing transparency and the opportunities offered by open data, the passenger advocacy organisation Transport Focus has published a report that highlights the steps it sees as necessary for reversing the decline in bus use among the general public and particularly the young.
It is almost a cliché to say we need to target young people in order to secure the future of the industry, but nevertheless it presents a challenge to local government, operators and digital service providers alike to devise an offering that, in the words of David Sidebottom of Transport Focus, should be 'easier than ordering a pizza'.
In the culinary spirit, Rise can offer a recipe for success in creating lifelong bus users and we believe that digital services are the 'magic ingredient' required to make young people confident and satisfied with bus service provision, keeping more cars off the roads and creating an in-demand service that promotes growth and sustainable passenger numbers.
A good helping of Real-Time information:
Buses can run late. Traffic, roadworks and other hold ups mean that waiting for a bus can become a frustration for passengers and put people off using them. Unlike train timetables, there is every reason for bus users to treat timetables with a good dose of scepticism.
That's why RTI can play such a critical role in giving confidence to young people - if you know where the bus is, you can make an informed choice about your travel options on the fly. As an operator, putting an app in the hands of your users gives them the power to make decisions and get the most from your services, even when road conditions are unpredictable.
A healthy splash of price transparency:
With over a million individual fares available throughout the country (see last blog), the system almost appears designed to create frustration to the occasional or flexible traveller. With more and more people working on the move, in the office one day, at home the next and at times somewhere altogether different, who needs a weekly ticket? For many, the sums just don't add up. If you need to make a connection between two different services run by different operators then things get more complicated still.
The answer is accessible and clearly priced multi-operator tickets available digitally for activation when required and accepted across a local network. This is the cutting edge where Rise is working, together with local authorities and groups of operators, to make this idea a reality. Maximum convenience and flexibility.
A big spoonful of affordability:
This all seems fine for medium-sized operators and the big five, but to bring the whole system together, the smaller players in the market need integrated digital services available at a realistic price point that allows them to compete with larger providers and participate fully in multi-operator schemes. Rise have this technology and, with a clear view on the future of the industry, are playing a key role in initiating customer-focused services for young people across the full range of operators.
Well, I'm no Gordon Ramsay (thank... goodness) but I think Rise have this recipe right. Customer-focused digital services that allow access to all operators, seeking to take a strategic role in simplifying the offering presented to the public to put power in their hands and develop trust and confidence in the bus network.
There... easier than ordering a pizza. Get in touch with Rise today!