23 January 2006

Passenger Choice

Working in the NHS as I do, I cant escape the idea of 'patient choice' which is the Tony Bliars way of trying to hide the mess that it has made of the NHS by offering patients a choice of service they can recieve. In reality it wont work out that way and eventually most patients will end up worse off, but thats another story!
Well today I was able to exercise passenger choice - as two buses turned up at once both going to the same destination. The first was Dart 125 on the Citybus service 50. This was followed down the hill by Dart 108 on the 47. Both then follow each other all the way to Derriford Hospital, overtaking each other at alternate bus stops along the way.
Faced with a choice of two near identical, tidy but boring Plaxton bodied Darts, and both with similar passenger loadings you probably would normally just get on the first one. However there is one big difference between these buses as you can see in the photos. 125 has been plastered with all over adverts for the Plymouth Property Centre. This may look great from the outside and provide a little bit of interest in an otherwise extremely boring fleet of buses, but it offers a dismal passenger experience. Its so dark and gloomy inside some of these buses with contravision that you wouldn't normally take one out of choice.
This whole idea of passenger choice only works when both buses turn up at once, or you can at least see the second bus coming when the first arrives. All too often I have let one bus go past knowing that the other one is due, only for it not to turn up. Not good!
Now some passengers get cross that two buses just follow each other along the route like this but to be fair to Citybus its practically impossible to time all buses to get regular gaps in service along common stretches of route. The 47 and 50 only really cover two stretches of route together and the 47 disappears off onto another estate in between the two commons sections.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)