why rewarding loyalty is so important

How many transport companies in the UK have loyalty schemes for their passengers?

Whilst loyalty in British retail is a fairly well established strategy (Nectar, Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage etc), it's certainly the exception rather than the rule where the bus and train is concerned.

In retail, a question such as 'Why should I shop with you Mr Tesco ?' would be answered with a 'Because as well as our great product range and commitment to great value..., we reward our customers with vouchers they can either spend with us or our partners'.

Retailers appreciate that competition for a customer's spend is fierce, so the concept of rewarding a customer for loyalty to their brand seems like a pretty good investment.

Which begs the question - do bus and train companies really appreciate their customers? Do they really appreciate how simple it is for their customers to switch to the number 1 competitor - the car?

I'm sure they do, but perhaps they're not letting the customers know just how much. So for those who are loyal to the transport cause, why not a raft of local company tie ins for the independents, and national tie ins for the big boys?