Which brings me to one of my pet topics: single fares and finding out what they are. So many bus companies don't want their potential customers to know how much it costs to use their services. Really. How on Earth are they still in business?
Demographics are in the bus's favour. Fewer young people are learning to drive and that bodes well for bus passenger numbers in the long term. But only if we can get them on board in the first place. When people consider using the bus they have three key questions:
- Where does the bus go?
- When does it run?
- How much will it cost to use?
If they can't get an answer to any one of those three questions, the bus company will have lost business. It really is as simple as that. The first two are usually easy enough to find out if you know where to look, but the third is a major problem.
Not enough bus companies have a section like this on their site. This is from Trent Barton.
There are a few honourable exceptions in the bus industry. Companies that are happy for people to know how much they will need to pay include Trent Barton, Brighton & Hove, Stagecoach Manchester, Blackpool Transport and Velvet. If you know of any more, please leave a comment and give them a well-deserved free plug.