Bus passengers give Go-Ahead services the thumbs-up

Posted: 19 September 2012 | Go-Ahead Group | No comments yet

“Go-Ahead’s passengers have spoken and overall they seem to be very happy with their buses…”

The latest passenger survey of Go-Ahead Group bus companies has revealed that 89 per cent of people asked said they were satisfied with their overall journey.

The research was carried out by Passenger Focus, the independent consumer watchdog which surveyed nearly 6600 passengers using 11 of Go-Ahead’s bus companies operating outside of London.

Norfolk-based company Konectbus achieved the highest satisfaction score with an impressive 97%. Oxford Bus Company, Oxford Park and Ride, Go North East, Bluestar and Metrobus all scored 90% or higher. All the other bus companies scored at least 82%.

This year’s survey was the second to be commissioned by Go-Ahead, with the company committed to carrying out the exercise annually.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus Chief Executive, said: “Go-Ahead’s passengers have spoken and overall they seem to be very happy with their buses. However, value for money is something that passengers have highlighted as an issue, so this research provides Go-Ahead with valuable information which they can use to help focus their efforts on improving these scores in the future.”

David Brown, Group Chief Executive for Go-Ahead said: “I am pleased with this year’s set of results which show that our focus on providing high quality services to our passengers does make a difference. In the past year we have invested £80m in our bus fleet and continued to roll out our smartcard “the key” across all our bus companies, making it the most used smartcard outside of London.

“A major reason for us doing the survey is to find out where we can improve and then take steps to address those areas. Our bus companies are already planning a number of initiatives to deliver an even better service.”

Brighton and Hove Buses, which serves a high number of the students and young people, plans to raise awareness of the range of good value fares available in the city, including promoting the Bus ID scheme for young people, student discounted tickets and the deals available through “the key”, especially online.

Managing Director Roger French said: “We were pleased to see improvements in satisfaction with facilities at bus stops, the length of time waiting for the bus and punctuality. But the most quoted reason why journeys are not made is the length of the journey by bus and we will continue to work with local authorities so that buses take priority on the road. Passengers also want to see better service frequency and we will continue to review and improve the frequencies of our bus network.”

Plymouth Citybus is revisiting its fares structure to reduce the cost of shorter journeys – an area of particular concern to passengers. The new structure will be implemented in October. Metrobus is responding to a fall in satisfaction with friendliness and helpfulness of drivers by refreshing its customer care training course for a re-launch in November.

Go North East, which scored 91% satisfaction in the survey, intends to focus on four areas: perception of value for money, information on the bus, overall presentation of the bus and driver friendliness and helpfulness.

Kevin Carr, Go North East Managing Director said: “We have put together action plans within each of these areas. We are reviewing cleaning standards and repainting some of our buses and while the majority of our drivers deliver an excellent service most of the time, we are looking to achieve greater consistency in delivering high levels of customer service.”

Overall satisfaction scores for the companies surveyed were:

  • Go North East 91%
  • Metrobus 90%
  • Brighton and Hove Buses 89%
  • Plymouth Citybus 84%
  • Oxford Bus Company 92%
  • Oxford Park and Ride 92%
  • Konectbus 97%
  • Thames Travel 87%
  • Wilts and Dorset 84%
  • Southern Vectis 82%
  • Bluestar 91%

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