if public transport is going to truly compete with the car it needs to get real simple, real quick

I think it's fair to say that many people in this country find public transport less than simple.

Inner zones, outer zones, plus this, extra that, day rider, group roamers, tap on/off, tap and cap, route numbers, route names - you get the general gist - public transport seems to be very good at finding ways to confuse a customer.

By contrast, the car appears to be the epitome of ease. 

Once you've ignored the counterarguments that you must buy it, learn how to drive it, have somewhere to park it, tax/insure it, and pay to keep it roadworthy... jumping in and turning the key whenever you want is damn simple.

So simple, you ignore the obvious obstacles.

Whether we like it or not buses and trains must compete with this simplicity across the board - from apps and website navigation through to pricing structure and frequency.

But do they?

Ask a mate how they would get from point A to point B in their car. Even if most wouldn't have a clue, a sat nav/phone will eagerly help them. Turn that key and get spoon-fed door-to-door instructions. It couldn't be simpler.

Now ask them to from point A to point B using public transport. Even if A and B were in the same city, how many would even know where to start? What to search, whose website to look on, what ticket to buy etc. And if they did, do you think they would find the whole process a simple, straightforward one?

I think we all know the answer to that.

To compete at any level, the industry needs to keep things simple rather than make things complicated - but there's a long way to go.