Saturday, 3 June 2017

Buses need to be more user-friendly.

I have something of a love-hate relationship with buses. I love buses, the actual vehicles themselves, but travelling on them can be quite stressful at times, especially in an unfamiliar area. There are several factors that contribute to this:

  • No or poor route maps. Train and metro networks are usually well-mapped and journeys are easy to plan. Bus routes often aren't.
  • Some buses give change, but many don't. If you don't know what the price of a bus journey is going to be, you may not have the right fare to hand.
  • Confusing ticket types. Some companies sell return tickets, some do not and in some cases a day ticket can be cheaper than a return so you may not be getting the best deal if you are unfamiliar with the fare structure.
  • You need to know when your stop is coming up to let the driver know to stop. If you're new to an area, you may not know where you need to get off. Train station stops are often announced and trains stop without the need to ask the driver.
  • Surly drivers. If there's one thing guaranteed to put people off the bus, it's poor customer service.
Bus companies need to up their game to make it easier to travel by bus. Attracting more customers to public transport is important if congestion and pollution are to be reduced.

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