On New Year’s Eve I tweeted 15 commitments for 2019, a kind of new year manifesto for our passengers, stakeholders and the communities we serve.
Some of these commitments will yield immediate results, others are longer term, but they will all be addressed in 2019. These commitments will be increasingly influenced more directly by our customers and the communities we serve through closer engagement with them.
I’ll explore these points in more detail as a series of blogs and vlogs but for now, here’s an overview.
Making our city a better place to get around
Congestion is growing by almost 2% a year in Brighton and Hove, negatively impacting on our passengers and exacerbating congestion and air quality issues.
Last year we invested £7.67 million in better, cleaner buses to tackle these challenges and we achieved dramatic improvements in environmental performance. We sped up boarding, with more double door buses, and invested in technology to provide faster ways to pay, like contactless.
In 2019, we plan to step this up another gear:
#1 30 new emissions-free buses in the city centre
#2 more contactless options
#3 reviewing bus stops that delay bus users
#4 contributing to the council’s bus shelters and highways programme
#5 working with council, retail and other partners on a shared vision for travel
Consistently improving for our customers
The 2018 independent Passenger Focus survey gave us a 91% passenger satisfaction rating. It’s a strong result, but we’ll continue to push for the best experience for our customers, whether that’s about excellent customer service; expanding payment options; real-time travel information or value for money.
#6 upgraded buses on many routes
#7 cleaner buses
#8 improved bus journey information, digitally and face-to-face
#9 more comprehensive information service at central stops
#10 more flexible payment and savings options
#11 increased transparency and regular performance updates so passengers know where their fares go
Adding social value for our communities
Brighton & Hove Buses has a long history of supporting the city’s community groups and charities but we’ve been working hard to move beyond conventional corporate social responsibility. This year we’ll take customer service out of our shops and offices and into the community.
Plans for 2019:
#12 new neighbourhood advisors to help with ticketing, travel planning, service feedback and accessibility
#13 piloting a new, flexible bus service to complement the existing network
#14 working with partners to reduce loneliness and isolation in communities
#15 involving customers in our Community Fund decisions
The passion that the people here at Brighton & Hove and Metrobus have will ensure 2019 is an exciting year of positive change and innovation for bus passengers and our other stakeholders. It’s a privilege to play my part in this.