#CoastlinerCountry

Premium buses – it’s all about the little details now

Long gone are the days where passengers were grateful for the bus simply turning up. Passengers expect so much more from their bus journey – and rightly so.

Throughout 2016 we saw a big increase in the number of vehicles with USB charging points and free WiFi being delivered to operators of all sizes. No longer are these add-ons just for the higher quality operations but they’re now a staple for bus travel in the UK.

Such is the proliferation of these features, I’m now genuinely annoyed when I board a bus to find no USB chargers.

Beyond the basics

To make a bus feel luxurious we now need to look beyond the basics and towards the finer details. At the end of January I had the great pleasure of travelling across Yorkshire sampling the best views and the best buses anywhere in the UK.

I came to notice the small details during my trip – from simple things like having bus timetables that are accessible even when travel shops are closed to really minute details such as wallpapers adorning staircases on double decks.

It’s these small details that have cemented in my mind that, from a passenger’s perspective, these are the best buses in the UK. It shows real passion and care for the journey from the operator and really does redefine bus travel.

It all starts with a friendly welcome…

We all appreciate a friendly welcome, and boarding a bus should be no different.

It’s a small thing but seeing welcome signs like these (below) help brighten a journey, it’s even better when there’s a friendly driver behind the wheel wishing you a good morning.

I also like how Transdev have taken the theme of Yorkshire’s local dialect and run with it across their other branding applications.

Local pride is very important and people appreciate having a sense of ownership over their local transport – just look at how many people are calling for nationalisation! Local brand names reinforce the notion of an operator caring for the community and being owned by the community.

An example of The Harrogate Bus Company's use of local dialect.
An example of The Harrogate Bus Company’s use of local dialect. Image from The Harrogate Bus Company.
An example of The Keighley Bus Company's use of local dialect.
Another example, this time from The Keighley Bus Company. Image from MW Graphics.