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