working together to recruit bus drivers, working together to recruit customers

In response to the ongoing bus driver shortage, the three main bus operators in West Yorkshire - First, Arriva and Transdev - have pooled their resources to help solve the problem.

The campaign is a collaboration between the bus operators, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin. Their long-term aim is to recruit an additional 1000 bus and coach drivers, which would allow the operators to deliver the service their customers require.

From what I've seen on social media there has been a number of recruitment days, and no doubt other events, all promoting the profession and directing potential applicants to

Such a collaboration is not something that seems to happen very often in the bus industry, so big applause all around. But it got me thinking... if operators can work together to recruit drivers, surely, they can work together to recruit customers?

It would be unheard of in the world of retail but for the unique operation that is public transport, it's an entirely feasible thing to do.  

Chuck in £15k each and promote 'the bus' per se in and around West Yorkshire. Old fashioned above-the-line advertising* with a great hook that will get people talking about the product.

Apart from the financial outlay, the operators would have nothing to lose, and the potential gains are both immediate and long-term. 

After all, with competition on most routes non-existent, it's not as if they're all going after the same customer, is it?

*we are available to work on such a campaign if required!