a big budget spent well (unsurprisingly) increases your chances of success

The front page of this week's Passenger Transport carries a story about passenger growth, increased revenue, and improved punctuality on the new, franchised Bee Network in Greater Manchester.

They led with the headline 'Bee Network journeys rose 8% in the first month', and as that obviously leads to more revenue, should be applauded.

So, putting two and two together, you'd think franchising alone delivers a solid, effective return on investment, right?

I suspect that's not entirely true.

The reality is that spending bucket loads of cash (as TfGM has been doing in the previous months) telling people about their bus service, how frequent it is, how much it is, where it goes, and what it looks like... delivers results.

Let's call it a mid-weight ad campaign.

Any new brand needs serious investment, and having both a long-term plan to raise awareness of it and working alongside short-term ticket/route promotions is the way every company offering public transport should be thinking (but not many do).

A big budget misspent is unlikely to yield results, but a big budget spent well will certainly increase those chances - whether your bus services are franchised or not.