Taking the last bus home
In the hedonistic 80’s Mike and I used to enjoy going to the cinema especially for the ad which showed a cool couple of blokes hopping from a golden shoreline into a fast white leather upholstered speedboat. The tag line was “Taking the last bus home – if you’r drinking Bacardi”
I was reminded of this ad as I sat on the 5.22 Countryliner from
What I find strange is the scarcity of people on that bus. I’m often the only one. In a recent survey that Hampshire County Council did they discovered that perception of the quality and frequency of busses was markedly different depending upon whether people actually used the busses or not. If they did not use the busses they had a much lower opinion of them.
I can’t say that my bus has any style but it is always on time and I enjoy the social aspect of the journey. I have got to nodding acquaintance with several passengers including a very nice disabled guy who is always helped on and off the bus by the driver. In fact this morning I knew all of the four other passengers!
One of the strongest arguments for getting people out of their cars and taking public transport is that it forces people to engage with their neighbours. On the bus you might be sitting next to anyone – and of course if you travel by public transport regularly you soon learn that most of your fellow beings are really quite nice people.
So if the survey is correct and the experience is far better than the perception then we have to find ways of getting people to take the bus once or twice in the hope that it will help them to change their mind about busses.
Here’s a wacky example from Kobe in Japan, where Ikea dressed up the local trams as a publicity stunt when their new store opened. Now how come the Swedes always seem to come up with the answers?