Never a greater opportunity

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Giles Fearnley told the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport in London last week that in his 46 years’ experience in the bus and rail industry he has never known a period of greater opportunity for the bus. Stephen Morris reports

Contactless or mobile phone tickets now account for 50% of fare purchases at FirstGroup, though usage is significantly lower in deprived areas

In light of the continuing decline in bus ridership, the claim that this is the greatest period of opportunity the bus has known in living memory may seem remarkable. But while Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus in the UK, has always had refreshing optimism, all too rare in the industry, he is firmly grounded in the realism of day-to-day bus operation. But there is a clear message. In urban areas at least, if the bus industry can play its cards right, it has everything to play for just now. […]

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