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February 13 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

‘Make it easier and better
value’ – young people’s plea

Independent watchdog Transport Focus has published the results of an in-depth look at the experiences and needs of young bus passengers.

It includes clear recommendations for making services more attractive to encourage more young people to keep using the bus.

Young people say:

- They don’t feel services are designed with them in mind, or that enough is being done to encourage them and make them feel valued

- Not knowing how the system works or what to do is a barrier and a source of anxiety about ‘getting it right’

- Improving the journey experience is important

- There is a need to design systems better, learning from other industries in the way they appeal to young people

- Fares for young people are confusing and inconsistent. Over half didn’t know what special fares and discounts are available for young people or even if they are available at all

Director David Sidebottom says: “Our report is a call to action for governments, local authorities and bus operators to act now to make sure they don’t lose their customers of the future.”

Several bus operators and authorities have brought in initiatives including cheaper fares, Wi-Fi, charging points for phones and mobile ticketing, to encourage younger passengers to take more trips. However the report finds that such schemes are patchy across Great Britain.

The survey also found that, 51% of users find out about services by asking family and friends, and 46% use Google Maps.

The top three improvements young people want, in order, are: Better value for money, wi-fi and more buses and the times you want to use them.

Report at

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