Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Way Ahead for Bus Advertising?

While it may not be the highest profile issue confronting the industry today, the merit of on-bus advertising is a subject about which many industry professionals hold strong opinions, and occasionally the debate gets an airing in public.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Is 'transport on demand' the future for rural public transport?

Rural bus services are under threat.  Increasingly we hear of local authorities threatening drastic reductions or even complete removal of their budgets for supporting unprofitable bus services, with the risk that communities may be cut off from the public transport network.
Understandably, those affected protest against such cuts, for fear of being isolated and unable to access essential services for education, health, shopping, work or the simple independence of being able to get out and about without having to drive a car or rely on a lift.
They are joined in their protests by observers with an interest in good public transport, who bemoan the loss of any service, every cut in public expenditure on buses, as a threat to the future of the industry.
But is a reliance on heavily subsidised but often lightly used fixed route bus services, really the best way forward for public transport in deep rural areas?  Or is there an alternative solution that couples the imagination of operators with emerging technology to provide a more flexible, agile solution with commercial potential?

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Skylink Flying High

It's exciting enough that I get to spend a healthy chunk of my time doing network design and commercial planning for trentbarton.  But for an aviation geek like me, when it involves airports as well, the enjoyment level goes off the scale!

Friday, 8 January 2016

What makes a MAN a man?

Amid all the glamour and sparkle of life at the sharp end of the East Midlands bus industry, we've been quietly getting on with a little refurbishment project in the background at TM that is actually one of the most rewarding things we've done.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Access all areas

Despite my best efforts to think of myself as a young, up-and-coming manager, still in the early stages of what will one day prove to be a long and distinguished career, I can't ignore the mounting evidence that I'm getting older.

2016 will mark the twenty fifth anniversary of my arrival in the industry.  I work with people who weren't even born when I first graced the offices of Buffalo Travel in that long hot summer of 1991.  (I have no idea whether it was actually long and hot but I was eighteen and the world was my oyster so that's how I choose to think of it).

The latest damning evidence of my ascension to middle age will arrive at the stroke of midnight tomorrow.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Star gazing

Photo:  Ray Stenning
One of the landmark moments of my career was the creation of the Bluestar brand in 2004.

Eleven years on, the brand has gone from strength to strength.  Many of the original routes have seen repeated investment in new vehicles and marketing, frequencies have grown and the network has expanded.  Within the last year, an outbreak of intense competition in the Southampton bus network has resulted in the creation of a number of new routes within the city area.  Most recently, a fleet of brand new Enviro 200MMCs - among the first in the country - has been entering service on the busy cross-city Bluestar 18.

Taking advantage of a rare midweek trip back to the south coast, I decided it was time to go for a ride and see how they are protecting my legacy!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Making The Point Beautifully

One of the most absorbing and stimulating blogs around is The Beauty of Transport, written by freelance transport writer Daniel Wright.

In it, he highlights the role of design and architecture in the world of transport, and the relationship between transport and culture.

His articles typically feature detailed descriptions of big transport projects of architectural significance, or analysis of particular examples of art and design - or the artists themselves - and their influence on the world of transport.

It's the best kind of blog, where you head there planning to have a quick look at whatever's new this week and then find yourself clicking on another title that looks interesting, and another, and another, and hours later realise you've been completely absorbed and totally failed to do whatever it was you were planning to do before you decided to just spend a couple of minutes in front of the computer.

That's one of the reasons why I'm a little late bringing you this post.  I've been meaning to do it for a while, but each time I sit down to write it I end up reading more of his older articles and then find I've run out of time.

But two months ago Daniel wrote one article in particular that I want to highlight.  It explains in as clear a fashion as I've ever seen, why good design and branding are important in creating successful, attractive transport systems, and why those of us involved in providing transport should aspire to high standards of design in all that we do, and not settle for bland, mundane, unappealing design that will simply turn off potential users.

You can find the article here.