The publication of the Government’s National Bus Strategy (NBS) for England comes at a pivotal moment for the industry. Through its insights, directives and recommendations, the NBS presents a landmark opportunity for us to collectively reflect and level-up.
Even before COVID-19, England’s bus industry was in urgent need of new direction and stimulus. Having been left behind by policymakers and overlooked in terms of funding for too long, bus use outside of London has unfortunately been on a steady downwards trajectory for successive decades. With passenger numbers sent tumbling further over the past year due to national lockdowns, the pandemic has brought the industry’s challenges into even sharper focus.
As we enter “The New Normal”, it is imperative that we do not simply revert to the operating models of old, falsely assuming they will be able to meet the scale of the issues we face. We need to take bold steps to restore passenger confidence in bus travel as an enjoyable, reliable, and safe mode of transport; as the NBS states, we must aspire not just to build back to pre-pandemic ridership levels, but to go beyond and “Build Back Better”.
Importantly, increased bus uptake could play a critical role in helping us tackle the pressing challenges of climate change; one fully loaded double deck bus can take 75 cars off the road, reducing congestion and the impact of transport on the environment. The Government has committed to bringing 4,000 zero emissions buses onto the country’s roads; by making bus travel more attractive compared to the alternatives, we can further power the transition towards a carbon-neutral world.
In our latest paper, we outline how Icomera’s solutions and our own roadmap neatly aligns to the goals set out as part of England’s National Bus Strategy, as well as explaining the role that we are playing in shaping the Internet-enabled future of bus travel.
By supporting a wide range of digital applications which increase passenger satisfaction, enhance operational efficiency, and improve safety and security, Icomera’s centralised connectivity platform helps make bus journeys more efficient and cost effective for operators, and more productive, enjoyable and accessible for passengers.
Taking advantage of our industry-leading centralised connectivity platform, we are working to increase passenger satisfaction, improve physical safety, and gather actionable feedback from those travelling; in doing so, our solutions deliver the best possible passenger experience, while also allowing operators to work with ever greater efficiency.
As a brighter tomorrow dawns, we look forward to taking the next steps on this Connected Journey together with our clients and partners.
Global Director of Road Solutions, Icomera