for those who rely on buses, basics will always trump the extras

I've just read an article on my local BBC news website where parents of school children are up in arms about the reliability of their local bus services.

Numerous cancellations, pupils arriving late to school, fears for their safety on the dark nights - the article has a bit of everything. You can read it here

I've also read numerous articles over the years (by industry professionals) about how bus companies need to aim higher than the basics of reliability and punctuality in order to attract new customers. Moquette design, seat layout, roof lighting, next stop announcement etc are all cited as influencing factors in targeting model shift.

And it's hard to disagree these 'extras' would make your journey a more pleasant one. But...

How do you sell that to the parents of children missing their first lesson at school because a bus company can't deliver to their published timetable?

If the toothpaste you buy goes up in price, you choose a cheaper alternative. 

If you dislike the new taste of the cakes you buy, you choose a more palatable alternative. 

But if you rely on the bus to get to school (your parents start work at 8am, you feel unsafe on a bike, and your school is 5 miles away), what happens when it consistently fails to turn up? What are your realistic alternatives?

To people who rely on the bus to get them to work for the start of their shift or to school in time for registration, basics trump the extras all day long.

If that's aiming too low or showing a lack of ambition so be it. 

Ignore the media darlings, and your customers will thank you in the long run.