Design bus services for young people, urges watchdog

Transport Focus has published a new guide to help bus operators and local authorities make travelling by bus a better choice for young people.

The independent watchdog says that bus operators can best secure their future by serving young passengers better, with young people remaining the least satisfied group of passengers. This is despite overall satisfaction for young bus passengers, those deemed between the ages of 16 and 18, having risen to 80 per cent.

Transport Focus makes clear recommendations for improving services to attract and encourage more young people to keep using the bus. In particular, the report suggests introducing discounted fares for 16 to 18-year olds that are easy to buy and understand, the implementation of a ‘one stop nationwide bus app’, which would serve as a 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. The group also recommends better on board Wi-Fi and USB charge points at every seat.

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.”

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