The second of a Double Go Aheader.
The cheek of it. Later this month, Brighton & Hove wishes to increase its fares by 10p. This is apparently the first rise in more than two years. Even so, it gives the cranks who read the web version of the Brighton Argus motive and opportunity to swing at B&H in its 75th anniversary year. Here, we respond, in Honest John direct style (as in the Saturday Telegraph motoring column), as we did regarding the B&H bendy saga.
It has to be said that there appear no plans to increase the cost of season-type tickets and buying online reduces the cost per trip even further. News of the increase also comes with an expanded central zone that will reduce single tickets for many by 20p.
“After the morning rush hour they could operate most routes using a 16 seater minibus until the evening rush hour”
Costs to operate mileage between peaks is marginal and buying a applicative fleet of 16 seaters for use solely off-peak would have a crippling effect on fares. And the minute you are left behind, you’ll write indignantly to the Argus.
“Cut the number of NEW buses purchased if you need to save money”
And introduce the unreliability, poorer quality and lower environmental standards of an inferior, older fleet? That would be good for passenger ridership growth.
“I got on a bus fairly recently with the intention of travelling half a mile or so. When I was told how much to hand over for the price of a single, I changed my mind and walked instead. What a rip off”
B&H fares are no less costly than settlements of similar size. They offer a premier service. They reflect the investment in Brighton. One-off transactions will tend to be highest when compared to day or weekly tickets.
“What about the costs of trying to run a high intensity service without the demand. Brighton's streets are overrun with hundreds of buses that are barely half full most of the day”
When you see a lightly loaded bus, consider that there might be other parts of the route or parts of the day when they are fuller.
“Money could be saved by cutting the Roger French publicity budget”
False economy. Even more necessary when a company needs to make unpalatable decisions.
“How about them lowering their profit margin, just like a lot of us have had to do with our stagnating incomes in the face of inflation”
Margins are too low as it is, to sustain the industry beyond the short-term.
“During the day [the buses] are far too frequent and almost empty”
Well, I’m sure B&H would reduce frequency if it felt it would gain anything. It may yet come to that but imagine the furore were this to be the case. And the resultant loss of revenue would force up fares further.
“Of an evening there are hardly any [buses]”
And far fewer passengers, too. But even evening frequencies are good, in Brighton.
“My daughter tells me bus prices in London are cheaper than in Brighton and Hove”
Your daughter is wrong.
“When buying monthly or three monthly tickets, it works out at a fair price. But for those who just want to use once or twice a week it is a rip off as it is, let alone once it gets raised”
The shop equivalent you buying big versus small, one-off purchases. Or as the Southern Vectis blog put it well, the difference between PAYG and a contract phone.
“Maybe they should reintroduce advertising on buses. I know they stopped the advertising as they wanted their buses to look clean and cool, but it comes at a cost of higher fares”
And advertise the bus services’ competitors, perhaps?
“London single bus ticket with Oyster card: £1.20”
London day bus ticket cap with an Oyster Card: £3.90. B&H day ticket purchased online: £3. And London’s bus service is highly subsidised, to boot.
“My mum has to spend £3.60 a day just to get to work in the middle of Brighton. She spends £18 solely on bus fares a week.”
More fool her. Tell your mum to buy a weekly ticket online at £13. Saves enough for a week’s worth of newspapers to read on the journey. Or she might try to spend £3.60 a day keeping a car on the road.
“I buy my saver tickets online for £3 each which I still think is expensive compared to other places I visit.”
No it isn’t.
“I have to pay £69 for a 3 monthly bus pass for my [child] to get to school, and there is no return bus service from his school so he has to get 2 buses back home and this is called a service!!”
Poor dear. I had to change buses both morning & afternoon. I got home after 1700. Had Neighbours been on TV then, I would’ve been most miffed. As it was, I made great friendships on the bus. It was a great social space.
“I too tried to pay for a £3.60 ticket with a tenner and was told to get off the bus as the driver didn't have the change.”
Perhaps you should move to towns with customer-unfocused no-change policies and exact fares boxes.
“This bus service stinks, is over-priced, and people won't stand for it.”
As they used to say in the 1970s, “Come the revolution…”. Translated, this might mean re-regulation with its inherent costs.
Monday, 13 September 2010
The second of a Double Go Aheader.
Posted Monday, September 13, 2010