13 February 2012
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.
For further information contact Samantha Hodder at Go-Ahead on 0207 821 3928; firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 22,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way and are proud to have been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after taking action on climate change. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.
Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. With a fleet of around 3,900 buses, we carry, on average, around 1.7 million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London, with around 21% market share, where we provide regulated services for TfL. We operate deregulated services in Oxford, East Anglia, the South East, Southern and North East England. We also have a yellow school bus joint venture in North America.
Our rail division operates the Southern (including Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland franchises through our 65% owned subsidiary Govia. It is the busiest rail operation in the UK, responsible for nearly 30% of all UK passenger rail journeys. In December 2009, Southeastern began operating the UK's first high speed domestic rail service between Kent and London, significantly reducing journey times.