Thomas Ableman is spot on with his assessment of bus travel's friction points

A recent Passenger Transport saw a piece by Thomas Ableman (CEO of Snap Travel and ex Commercial Director of Chiltern Railways) where he discussed the friction points affecting public transport.

And by friction, he means those moments in the customer journey where something can go wrong and the customer is lost. They could be lost to another mode of transport or choose not to travel at all as a result of their experience.

'Let's be honest: it's hard to imagine a more friction-filled booking funnel that the process of getting a local bus outside London' he writes.

Inaccessible timetables, bespoke & archaic payment channels and sporadic real-time information are all mentioned as stumbling blocks, whilst the lack of next stop information and trying to work out the correct fare are also highlighted as areas of concern.

On the positive side, he acknowledges that massive progress has been made with regards to contactless payment, apps showing live departure times and integrations with Google.

If you were a non-user of bus services, you'd be hard pushed to disagree with his assessment of where you're likely to get frustrated.

Once you've managed to overcome the unknowns of where the bus goes from, when it goes, how much it is, where you need to get off etc everything else should be seamless. But as Thomas points out, it's not.

Yes, progress is being made but there still an awful lot of work that needs to be done.

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