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Bus News: Issue 362 15 May 2009

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Bus, Fares/ticketing, Staff, Other, Transport for London, All of UK

Hendy urges young managers to undertake market research

Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy told members of the Young Bus Managers Network this week that it was important for industry managers to undertake market research in order to develop their businesses for the better.

He also said that electronic ticketing methods were a powerful incentive to encourage greater public transport use.

Taking on the meeting’s theme of transport integration, Hendy said that integration was about finding out what passengers want. He said that there was a clear method of obtaining this information and that was through market research.

“People don’t want what you decide to run as a network or decide to charge them as fares,” he said. “They want to get from A to B and if you don’t do sufficient market research you can persuade yourself that what you are offering is what people want. Whether you work in the private or public sectors, it is quite easy to give people what you have decided, rather than what they’d like.”

Hendy also said that smartcard ticketing such as London’s Oyster card gave the passenger the power to make choices.
“They feel it gives them a whole new outlook on life and the ability to do things they wouldn’t have otherwise tried,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t use this industry as they don’t know how the charging mechanism works. The move away from cash on buses is a really powerful incentive.

“People don’t understand graduated fares. We do, but the public actually hate it and one of the things about Oyster is that you don’t have to understand the fares system to get on a bus. That’s a good thing.”

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