attracting the youth of today

Earlier this week there was a Transport Focus 'Bus and Young People' event, where the likes of Alex Hornby and Martijn Gilbert were commentating on social media during the talks  - all interesting stuff.

One of the slides Martijn tweeted was entitled 'Key features of the perfect bus journey' (I'm assuming the perfect journey for young people). The list itself was largely unsurprising, detailing all of the traditional basics - reliability, cleanliness, courtesy etc - alongside first world 'necessities' such as fast wi-fi and charging points.

Used as requirements for the journey itself, i.e. the bit where you're actually on the bus, it's pretty much spot on.

However, when you consider the customer interaction/experience as a whole, there seems to be one key element missing.

I didn't see one mention of the importance of technology, and the part it can play when it comes to finding information, in any the social media posts. Something I thought rather strange when the conference was about attracting young people to the bus.

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The survey quotes in the slide seem to have come from young people who already use the bus - customers who know where to get the required information, and from what mediums.

I can't help thinking the quotes would have been different if young, non-bus users had been questioned as to what makes the perfect journey. I imagine they would have started with what they didn't know about getting the bus - the where does it go, how do I find out, have you got an app kind of questions. The bits that cover the experience way before the wheels arrive.

It's no surprise that being able to find out what you don't know is half the battle in attracting people to the bus.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the write-up on the Transport Focus work "Using the bus: what young people think". Of course the one slide you show is a picture of the perfect journey but as anybody will see from the detail in the report it can't be stressed enough the importance that young bus passengers (and young non-bus users) place on technology to provide information on when the bus will turn up, where from and how much will it cost. As many businesses place great store on "having an app" it was sobering to hear that young people said that an app "has to earn a place on my phone". A reference to a lack of available data through their tariff and also that it's pointless local bus and train operators plus the local transport authority all having their own apps! One source of the truth please! You can read the fascinating insight here:
    www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/using-bus-young-people-think/

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