Serve young passengers better, says Transport Focus

Research body, Transport Focus has called on the industry to better serve young passengers.

The organisation quoted figures showing overall satisfaction for young bus passengers (16 to 18-year-olds) has risen to 80% (from 77% in 2017). However, it notes they remain the least satisfied group of passengers. Transport Focus has published 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. The aim of the gatherings was 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, said: “Buses are vital for communities, helping people go to work, school or see friends and family. New technologies such as contactless payment and wifi 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.”

CPT welcomes it

Welcoming the latest research from Transport Focus, newly appointed CPT Chief Executive, Graham Vidler, said: “The industry recognises the huge importance of meeting the expectations of younger travellers on services across the country.

“Bus companies continue to invest in services younger passengers expect, and onboard facilities including contactless and mobile ticketing, wifi, USB charging points and leather seating are now commonplace on many services.

“With the continued development and rollout of mobile apps and websites providing timetable, real-time service updates, bus stop and fares information, taking and planning a bus trip is becoming easier.

“The latest satisfaction statistics clearly demonstrate that the industry is moving in the right direction, but of course there is always room for improvement. CPT welcomes this report’s recommendations and looks forward to continuing to work closely with its members, central and local Government to further improve the experience of all bus users.”

See the report here:


Transport Focus’s report makes recommendations for improving services to attract and encourage more young people to keep using the bus. They are:

• Smart fares – discounted fares for 16 to 18-year-olds that are easy to buy and understand

• One-stop nationwide bus app – one central source for information and ticketing provided by the bus industry that is intuitive, easy-to-use and accessed via an app that will earn its place on a young person’s phone

• Better onboard wifi and USB charge points at every seat.

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