16/02/2012

Go Ahead gives the green light to annual bus passenger surveys

Go-Ahead Group aims to further improve the passenger experience on its buses by becoming the first major UK bus operator to carry out an annual independent customer satisfaction survey.

The annual survey  by Passenger Focus  follows last year's research by the watchdog into Go-Ahead's  non-London bus companies. The 2011 survey  found that  91% of passengers were satisfied  with the service they received.

David Brown, Go-Ahead Group Chief Executive said: "Last year's survey provided us with a valuable benchmark across our bus companies and the results  enabled us to implement changes and improvements to aspects of our service. We are very keen to  continue this approach  and working with  Passenger Focus gives us a wealth of independent experience  gained through carrying out detailed research into what both bus and rail passengers want from public transport."

Ian Wright, Passenger Focus' Head of Research said: "We are pleased that Go-Ahead is committed to proactively finding out what their passengers think of their bus services on a regular basis. It's a positive step for bus passengers because the survey provides Go-Ahead with a detailed insight into how they are performing across all elements of a passenger’s journey. The research helps inform decisions on how to make changes and improvements."

Last year's survey showed that while overall  satisfaction was high,  passengers wanted to see  better information and improved value for money on the price of tickets. Since last year's survey, action has been taken to address these areas: Plymouth Citybus has installed clearer destination displays on its buses, while Go North East has improved its communication with passengers over fares, with more buses displaying fares information and additional guides to best value fares made available. Southern Vectis is introducing carnet tickets through the key smartcard to offer good value single fares, after some passengers felt the price of single tickets was too high.

The  annual survey will be carried out across all Go-Ahead's bus companies outside London: Brighton and Hove Buses, Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel,  Plymouth Citybus, Konectbus, Go South Coast, Metrobus and Go North East. The survey  will take place over the next few months and Go-Ahead will announce the results during the summer.