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  • stevecowles

The shocking state of public transport

Over the winter I've been using public transport a bit more (I mainly use an ebike in the lighter months). I know that there have been many service cutbacks across the country but in theory, there should be a reasonable service at least in the daytime where I live.

It did feel quite unreliable so I started keeping a note of the failures and was shocked by what I found.

Bus, train, and escooter rentals have been included. The last of these were removed from service early in the measurements as the government trial period is over for the time being.

I have classed a failure as being when problems were caused by a significant service issue or a delay of 15 mins, or more or enough to prevent a connection or appointment. I would have included there being no seats available but I have not encountered this. Problems caused by strikes have not been included as at least some of these are arguably aimed at improving service levels.

What would an 'acceptable' level of service be? On the basis that many people use public transport to get to and from work I'd argue that once a month would be the maximum acceptable level of service so 97.5% reliability seems like a reasonable definition of acceptable.

The reality is that, of my 108 journeys to date, one in six has been a failure by the stated criteria. Shocking.

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