Claire Thompson, Waves PR
Dear public transport company (UK)
At eco-camp yesterday (Coventry) part of the discussion focussed on public transport and why not enough people use it.
Below is a short list of just five of things discussed. The answer is you. (Don’t shoot the messenger, but it’s not much fun using your services). Should you choose to listen, however, there’s something in it for you. Imagine the kudos of helping save humanity – and, if that doesn’t work for you, the money that could be yours from everyone using your services.
- Communicate with travellers: between stories of sleeping on train stations and not knowing whether the transport will actually arrive, this is no way to treat passengers. The technology is there, it’s not expensive. There’s no excuse. Empower your staff to view travellers as valued guests rather than as potential arguments, and the whole travel experience could be transformed.
- Join up systems. Stop thinking in competitive silos. Yes, you may be competing, but co-operating is good for passengers. And if their experience is better, more will use your services.
- Challenge politicians to take a lead and use public services. You are trying to deliver on their vision, but although they’re talking the talk, few are walking the walk. If they HAVE to use your services to travel around, pretty soon they’ll nurture an environment to make your services better, be that funding or infrastructure. It is NO coincidence that the nicest tube station in London is the one that the politicians have to use.
- Put in something like an Oyster card system – a single joined up system across the UK so that people can travel at the best price for the time they need to travel without worrying about tariffs and times or worrying about having the right money. Inform them about your offers, by all means, but cut the arguments. If someone’s travelling at the wrong time, it’s their wallet.
- Reduce the number of (empty) first class coaches on trains, and bring in (cheaper) stand and hold carriages during rush hour. This would give people a far fairer, more predicatable and greener train travel experience – and more travellers means more money for you
I urge you to embrace your green credentials. Develop them. Wear them with pride. It’s a huge USP so try and live up to it. We’re behind you all the way!
Livestream from event: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ecocamp-coventry
Ecocamp on ning: http://ecocamp.ning.com/
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