Presentation on theme: "The importance of the bus to the Surrey economy Workshop report 3 February 2014 The TfS Partnership is a communications and consultation channel. It is."— Presentation transcript:
The importance of the bus to the Surrey economy Workshop report 3 February 2014 The TfS Partnership is a communications and consultation channel. It is the only transport partnership that reflects the boundary of Surrey.
Our approach Transport for Surrey Partnership Board invited bus operators to join in a workshop. Six operators attended, along with 16 representatives of local authorities and business representative organisations. We set the scene by describing the current opportunities for growth, the regulatory framework and budget constraints. We split delegates across tables according to place: – Large towns, west (Guildford and Woking) – Large towns, east (Redhill and Epsom) – Small towns, west (eg Addlestone, Camberley and Staines upon Thames) – Small towns, east (eg Reigate, Oxted, Leatherhead and Dorking). We used the Discover stage of design thinking to think through issues for bus customers, as used in Shift Surrey www.shiftsurrey.org www.shiftsurrey.org
Setting the scene – the operator perspective Kevin Hawkins, Arriva 26 bus operators run services in Surrey. Operators are Surrey employers and operate fleets from Surrey premises. The recession slowed growth in passenger numbers. It can still be achieved. Technology is helping to grow the sources of passenger information. Printed information is still important to the customer, especially at bus stops. On-bus Wi-Fi is being introduced progressively. Two and a half million people nationally now use Arriva mobile phone ticketing. Real time information is growing and will soon be available on apps. Passengers key concern remains bus punctuality. Traffic congestion causes the most bus delays. Bus operators need to be able to predict the day ahead. Just a few pinch points can seriously affect a service. Bus operators enable the travel of many workers and scholars. They account for the most footfall in town centres. Challenges include set-down by shops. Good access to town centres is critical especially as buses are now accessible themselves. The vitality of town centres is attractive to bus operators too. Examples of deep concern are continued bus access to Guildford and Woking town centres given current development proposals.
Setting the scene – the regulator perspective Laurie James, Surrey County Council Surrey County Council is the bus regulator in Surrey. It does not have full coordinating powers for bus services. It works in a de-regulated bus environment. Where operators cant sustain a service then the council may step in. The council doesnt license or franchise buses – as per Transport for London. The council goes beyond basic social need. It is however, constrained by what it can afford. People judge Surrey County Councils service on the bus map. The whole county network accounts for 29 million passenger journeys per year. Transport for London routes go out as far as Redhill, Epsom and Caterham. There is a vast difference in funding between London and Surrey. So Surrey passengers can see what benefits others are receiving. The current net revenue support is £8 million. This follows a council bus review in 2012. Then, savings of £4 million were made without the need to withdraw buses. The corporate budget remains challenging. We need to be smarter, innovative and seek out new savings.
Workshop process Each group identified a type of customer in their geographical area. All of them would be economically active. We gave them a name and a back story. We identified their motivations and frustrations. We described their ideal experience of bus transport. Who is our customer? In discussion, we identified some of the benefits to this customer of bus transport. We also identified the problems this customer may face by using bus transport. What are their current problems? We asked - how we might overcome this users challenges? We came up with as many ideas as we could – anything was in scope, regardless of cost. We prioritised three to five ideas per group that we may be able to put into practice. How might we overcome the challenges?
Profiles of some of Surreys economically active bus customers Fred is a 37 year old local government officer living in Staines. He wants an efficient journey to work. Door to door, he wants his bus journey to take no longer than it would do by car. He plans his childcare around buses. He wants good value flexible travel and no dead time between buses. He wants a one stop shop for information, like Transport for London. Im trying to use the bus – but where is it? Lucy is 17 years old and has a part time job in Kingston. She is in her final year at school in Esher. Her social life is in Walton. She wants to be independent. Some of her journeys arent possible by bus. Other routes dont have buses that run in the evening. She wants free travel, like there is on London buses. She wants more frequent buses (not hourly) and reliability. No-one understands me and I dont understand it...where is the app? Janet, who is 42 years old, travels daily from Woodhatch to her job as a shop supervisor in Redhill. She wants to feel safe and secure on the bus as well as warm and dry. She likes to go for a drink after work but her bus doesnt run in the evening. Sometimes she makes extra bus journeys if the kids are unwell. Shed like realtime information and transferable bus passes and tickets. The bus goes around the houses...really Id rather be in a car.
Profiles of some of Surreys economically active bus customers Peter is 25 years old and works in insurance in Epsom. He wants to arrive at work on time and make a good impression. He gets stressed if the journey is delayed by congestion. He uses a smartphone and is comfortable with using technology. He is frustrated by the lack of information and use of technology on bus services. The buses always seem full. He wants a 24/7 service so that he can go out in the evenings. It is really old fashioned buying a paper ticket each time I travel. Wanda is 20 years old and works in retail in Woking. One day per week she travels to her retail course in Guildford. She is young and tech savvy. She has grown up with the bus routes in her area. She wants good bus reliability. She is concerned about bus to bus reliability and personal safety. She wants great customer service from the bus drivers. I wish my employer had a season ticket loan scheme.
Customer benefits of bus transport Buses drop passengers off in town centres. Customers avoid parking charges. Customers think it is cheaper to travel by bus than to finance a car. Customers have time to do things, such as to read a book or do work. Customers may use a mobile phone on the bus, especially where there is Wi-Fi. Customers are able to have an alcoholic drink and travel. Customers like the familiarity of the route/ service.
Bus transport problems for our customers Customers cannot rely on the timetable. Buses may be infrequent eg hourly. The lack of bus lanes means buses are subject to the same congestion as cars. Routes may not be convenient. Buses may not run in the evening. Down time between buses/ bus to bus reliability. Tickets can be hard to obtain and non-transferable between operators.
A selection of ideas (nothing out of scope) We have a Surrey cycling town (Woking) so why not have a bus town? Be more like Transport for London – a one shop stop. Offer journey planning education for http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info/. Integrate timetabling with rail operators. Make being on a bus more aspirational (leather seats, Wi-Fi etc). Keep passengers informed of delays, in-journey information and install interactive screens throughout towns. Put realtime info on Google Maps. Consider bus transport in developments/ developments along existing bus routes. Positive marketing to communicate the benefits of bus transport: to businesses and individuals. Location-specific advertising. Instinctive ticketing/ mobile style bundle ticketing/ transferable tickets. Free travel for a week in January. A £10 credit on your 16 th birthday. Bus operators to have a collective voice. More bus coordination in rural areas (eg Bus – rail – bus – bus). Increase parking charges (remove free parking). Remove town centre parking altogether. Solve the level crossing problem with train operating companies and/or grade separation on roads (bridge/tunnel options).
A selection of ideas (nothing out of scope) More Bus Priority lanes and measures, put bus stops on the carriageway. Better management of the traffic lights via the Network Management Information Centre. Better feedback and phasing to ensure traffic flow. Train bus drivers in customer service. Small interventions at junctions (eg lines, paving) can make a big difference to traffic flow. Extending the school day or stagger school hours. To develop a bid for a series of small junction schemes, someone could ride the route with the bus driver to see what junction problems are holding him up. C – Limited Service. Remove traffic calming measures. Offer incentives to get people to use smartphones. Need to get more bus patronage to make it economic to run longer service times, eg by more pedestrianisation in town centres to deter car use; integrated policy/overview for a town bringing together bus/transport and parking control (eg Oxford) – a Town Plan. More bus depots for economic running.
Priorities To achieve better journey time reliability. To make the bus and the waiting environment more aspirational. To promote the things you cant do while driving. To make it simple to travel by bus/ have a personalised season ticket. To display live information on public screens in towns. To integrate the different modes of public transport. To have buses running into the evenings. Specific proposals: Extend PLUSBUS to Redhill and Reigate. Aim for a LEP-funded package along a transport corridor. Develop a bus town. To have a Surrey-wide app integrated between bus operators. Overcome level crossing issues. Develop mobile phone ticketing bundles.
Next steps WhatBy whomWhen Embed public transport in the local enterprise partnerships strategic economic plans Bus operators and local authorities February/ March 2014 Bus operators to collaborate across Surrey Bus operators and local authorities/ Transport for Surrey Partnership Throughout 2014 A transport review to look at integration of transport modes, capital savings and collaborating with neighbouring authorities Surrey County Council and stakeholders 2014-17 with phased implementation from 2014 onwards Transport for Surrey Partnership to communicate the importance of bus transport to the Surrey economy Transport for Surrey Partnership Throughout 2014
Stay in touch: Mark Pearson, Chairman TfSPartnership@surreycc.gov.uk Transport for Surrey Partnership website http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roads-and- transport-policies-plans-and-consultations/roads-and-transport- policies-and-plans