Saturday 12th March 2022
I was in Harrogate last week. You can’t help but notice the bus service operated by Transdev Blazefield in the town exudes quality. Harrogate Bus Company is definitely in the bus industry’s Premier League.
It’s not that all the initiatives highlighted below are revolutionary; indeed some are small fry in the grand scheme of things (eg printed timetable leaflets on display 24/7 in the bus station), but when they’re all put together they add up to an impressive offering that conveys a clear message – ‘we care about the presentation of our bus services and really welcome your custom’. No wonder passengers respond appropriately.
If only every other bus company around the country would follow this lead. It really would make a huge difference to the standing of the bus industry.
1 Paper timetables on display 24/7 in the bus station. And not only for bus routes operated by the Harrogate Bus Company, but also by rivals Connexions as well as timetables for high profile bus routes elsewhere in Yorkshire including Coastliner and CityZap
And, to those on Twitter who spotted there were a couple of gaps in the display and commented; guess what? Within a couple of minutes of taking that photograph, a team member appeared from inside the kiosk and filled the rack up.
2 Bus stop signs that are branded to fit in with branding used by the bus route/s using them….
…. and which also follows through to buses on the route and timetable and marketing literature.
3 Bus stop timetables/departure lists (including journey times) that show a helpful route map with bus stop locations.
4 A bus station with plants and flowers making for a pleasant place to wait for a bus.
5 A highly visible cleaning regime ensuring ‘touch points’ are regularly sanitised as buses arrive into the bus station showing it wasn’t just a ‘flash in the pan’ in response to Covid.
6 An informal welcoming message as you board ….
… with friendly messages as you pass into the bus.
7 The famous 2+1 luxury style seating on route 36 putting seats in many modern and new trains to shame.
And original examples have now been cascaded on to local town routes.
8 Well spaced out seats on the town’s electric powered single deck buses giving excellent leg room and plenty of space for bags and shopping.
9 A novel way of dealing with the awkward space over the rear wheel arches, with built in usb and wireless recharging ports on the shelf.
10 Well signed and spacious litter bins offering the option of recycling too.
11 The simple but hugely effective “Departs in x minutes” electronic countdown signs (which even continue to count down in seconds as departure time nears) as well as ….
….. the nice touch of a battery symbol ‘filling up’ as the pantograph gives the batteries a charging boost each time the bus pulls into the bus station.
12 And finally smart looking uplighters in the Volvo electric single deck buses used on local town routes adding to the quality feel.
It’s the little touches like this which when all put together sing out a positive message about bus travel.
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Next blog, Sunday 13th March 2022: E is for Evesham.