more operators should join forces to advertise bus travel

When you boil down to the basics of public transport, all operators are providing a solution to a problem.

The problem faced by the customer is getting from A to B in the easiest/cheapest/most suitable/most convenient way possible. 

That may be by car, walking, or any other means and it's the job of public transport to throw bus and train travel into that mix of considerations.

And if bus travel is advertised consistently, with the right messages, aimed at the right people then that consideration may start to bear fruit. No guarantee, but you'd definitely increase the odds over a decent period.

However, consistency is key. 

Two same-city operators advertising with emphasis on different things might be the right thing for them individually but it's not necessarily the right thing for the product per se. In an ideal world, they'd be talking about the same things at the same time - so potential customers are getting sold bus travel as a solution.

Most bus passengers in the UK have no choice of bus company so what's the point in two same-city operators (who don't actually compete for the same customer) giving out different messages?

And this is where advertising the benefits of bus travel without operator influence makes sense. Why not join forces, pool your budgets, and start selling bus travel per se?

By all means, pay lip service to your brands with some small logos but ditch the fonts/colours/brand personality in favour of something you both offer (the product) and do a full-on integrated campaign. No website, nothing overly specific just a 'Get the bus in xxxxx, it's great!' type thing.

Billboards, 6 sheets, radio, press - whatever you can get your hands on and get that single, consistent message out there. 

Both operators would benefit from growing the market, so what have they got to lose?