Make taking the bus as simple as ordering a pizza, say teenagers

05 June 2019

Independent watchdog Transport Focus says more young people would use the bus if WiFi and USB points were fitted on all seats.

Although a report says satisfaction among 16-18-year-olds increased from 77% to 80% in 2018, this age group is still the least satisfied of all.

The youngsters who are not happy with the bus services currently on offer, say the process of buying a ticket should be made much easier by utilising smartphone apps.

The 27-page report collates best practice from a series of five workshops held across England in February and March 2019 to discuss Transport Focus research into the experiences and needs of young passengers released in February 2018.

And it is clear the wider world is getting on board with more modern-day tech on transport systems. In Guiyang, south west China buses are taking advantage of the 5G network and have incorporated full-size screens where passengers can watch HD films.

The report also said that young people would be more inclined to take the bus if the fares were reduced and were easier to understand. A flat fare of £2.20 introduced in and around Liverpool was cited as a success story and has led to a significant increase in the number of 18-year-olds using a bus.

Transport Focus Director David Sitebottom said, “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.”

Chief Executive of The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), 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 on-board facilities including contactless and mobile ticketing, WiFi, USB charging points and leather seating are now commonplace on many services.”