View from Canberra – May 2022

Where are all the passengers? In last month’s column we looked at the bus-stats over a 2-year analysis of what is on our roads today. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there has been a 5% drop in the number of registered buses and coaches on our roads from January 2019 to January 2021. We also found in our research that coach builders suffered a dramatic downturn in new coach deliveries – 74% since 2019. New route buses were also down by 30% whilst new school and charter buses remained ‘relatively’ stable. There is no doubt that trends in passengers travelling on public transport is also significantly down. But the question to ask is – Is the patronage trend downturn all related to lock down measures and ongoing covid anxiety? Or – have we simply ‘had enough’ of long commutes and the majority preference is to work from home? This article examines the ‘satisfaction factors’ that buses might need to meet in order to get the bums back on seats.

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