Following the change in government messaging encouraging people to return to public transport, Bus Users has carried out a survey to find out how passengers feel about getting back on board. The survey attracted 440 responses, and asked people about their use of coach and bus services before and after lockdown, and their attitudes towards face coverings.
The survey found that:
- 32% of respondents are not currently using the bus compared to just 1% before lockdown;
- 40% of people say they will use the bus more in future;
- 56% of people reported using the coach before lockdown but 60% said they are not now using it;
- 70% of respondents were concerned about other passengers not wearing face coverings;
- 63% of people with a medical exemption say they do not feel comfortable travelling without a face covering;
- 39% of people said they wear a face covering despite having a medical exemption;
- 60% of respondents use a concessionary pass to travel but 8% pay for their tickets using cash, almost the same number as use an app or website; and
- 95% of people reported having no trouble at all either paying for their ticket or getting a refund during lockdown.
Bus Users has called on Government, local authorities and operators to do more to ensure that people feel safe and confident about travelling by bus and particularly by coach. The organisation also suggests that more needs to be done to improve awareness of medical exemptions to face coverings so people unable to wear a mask can travel without being made to feel uncomfortable, challenged or even abused by others.
Dawn Badminton-Capps, Bus Users Director for England said: “Bus and coach operators have been working tirelessly to keep their passengers and staff moving safely throughout this crisis.
“It is critical, however, that these lifeline services are there for communities beyond the pandemic, and that will only be possible with the support of government, and by ensuring that everyone can feel safe and confident about travelling.”
The full report can be found at Bus Users’ website www.bususers.org