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How to win a fleet of all-electric buses

Wednesday 26 February 2020 Data Insight & AnalyticsDemographic Data

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Paul Langston's picture
By Paul Langston

The government has just announced £220 million of funding to help start a revolution in bus services.  To access the £50 million pot to deliver the country’s first all-electric bus town or city the Department for Transport (DfT) is inviting expressions of interest from local transport authorities in close partnership with local bus operators.

The DfT is rightly demanding that “monitoring and evaluation” is at the heart of any bid. 

Can you answer the following 6 questions, to demonstrate you meet this requirement, and show that you are suitable to win the prize of the fleet of all-electric buses.  Or you may be able to access these other funding streams recently announced by the DfT:

  • The £30 million extra bus funding to be paid direct to local authorities to enable them to improve current bus services or restore lost services
  • The £20 million fund to support on-demand services in rural and suburban areas.

 

1. Do you really know who is currently using your bus services?

Great if you do, but don’t worry if you don’t, as you are certainly not the only one who doesn’t fully understand the lifestyles, attitudes, behaviours and demographics of your diverse customers.

 

2. Do you know who is not using your services, and why?

Before you can move customers out of their cars and into buses, you need to know why they’ve never left their car before. 

Is it their perceptions (right or wrong) about the current service? Is it that practical routes simply don’t exist or that the costs simply outweigh the benefits?

By answering the first 2 questions, and segmenting your customers and wider communities based on their needs, lifestyles and demographics, you will take the first step to meeting their future transport needs.

 

3. How do you change the behaviours of your bus users of the future? 

What will make them break with their old habits?  Will the promise of cleaner air or concerns about the climate crisis tip the balance?  Or is it convenience or cost?

And are there groups of customers who will simply never switch, no matter what you offer them?

By incorporating these behaviours into your understanding of your existing and potential customers you take the next step to transforming behaviours and producing an actionable future transport plan.

 

4. Which communities are under (or over) served? …and how will you serve future populations…and future destinations?

Now that you know who does, and who could, use your bus services, you should combine this with an understanding of who is already using each route.  This will enable you to spot where you need to add or reroute services, and where you can save money by optimising routes to serve them more efficiently.

But make sure you allow for areas of population growth and the building of new destinations like supermarkets and workplaces.

 

5. What is the best route to meet their needs?

Designing the bus routes is now a relatively easy step.  You need to link the areas of greatest future demand to where the customers want to go, in the most efficient way.  And make sure that you plan your routes for both current bus fans and the converts of the future.

 

6. How do you evaluate the success of your new transport network?

Customer needs change, and not every bus route will meet local requirements for ever.  So, the implementation of your network needs to be supported by setting up the processes to constantly monitor and evaluate its effectiveness. 

In other words, can you constantly answer the first five questions?

 

The good news is that you've already got the majority of information you need to answer all of these questions and to win the prize.

CACI provide the missing links to help complete the quiz.

We provide data on consumers and their behaviours, attitudes and lifestyles. We know where they live, work and travel. We build customer segmentations that turn vast amounts of data into manageable solutions. We use these to find the right places for new routes and the right messages to change customer behaviours to use your new services.

To find out how we can help you win new buses and new bus users contact us today.

The government has just announced £220 million of funding to help start a revolution in bus services. To access the £50 million pot to deliver the country’s first all-electric bus town or city the Department for Transport (DfT) is inviting expressions of interest from local transport authorities in close partnership with local bus operators.

How to win a fleet of all-electric buses