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TheGrandWazoo

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Social media isn't hard to use in order to get what key workers need. Either use that or contact places directly to ask what staff would need. Again ignored my point. It's going to be bad regardless but First don't help themselves by not providing what would suit key workers best. If they did it reduces the impact slightly which is a good thing. Everyone is in damage limitation mode but you've got to do everything to limit that damage and First aren't.

I do understand it but if you don't believe me then that's not my issue as I've referenced it enough.

As for finding out what people need an example of it is Stagecoach doing it with their X51 at Eurocentral. They took feedback from businesses there to choose where to have it stop and when it was due there. It's possible to do if bus companies bother to do it
Firms are recutting timetables on a weekly basis, even within the week. It's just not practicable. One route in one location can't be extrapolated.

Even then, it still doesn't get away from the fact that seems to be beyond you. If you asked people if they wanted a 15 min service rather than a 30 min service, they're likely to say they want the 15 min service.

However, even at a 30 min service, First are losing money hand over fist. There just isn't the financial reality to do as you suggest. More buses running at a loss means massively increased losses and even a smidgen of good PR just will not cover that.

When Go North East delicense over 400 vehicles in a matter of days, you can understand the severity of this situation. However, I don't think you do.
 
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PaulMc7

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Firms are recutting timetables on a weekly basis, even within the week. It's just not practicable. One route in one location can't be extrapolated.

Even then, it still doesn't get away from the fact that seems to be beyond you. If you asked people if they wanted a 15 min service rather than a 30 min service, they're likely to say they want the 15 min service.

However, even at a 30 min service, First are losing money hand over fist. There just isn't the financial reality to do as you suggest. More buses running at a loss means massively increased losses and even a smidgen of good PR just will not cover that.

When Go North East delicense over 400 vehicles in a matter of days, you can understand the severity of this situation. However, I don't think you do.
It's far easier to achieve than you'd think plus get it right first time around and more cuts then don't need to happen as frequently. If you reduce everything to every 30 mins that would include cutting some services down to cover bringing the hospital ones at least back up to every 30 mins. It's at night especially where everything being hourly will be a bother. As some people have said on social media there's some being left waiting 50/55mins on a bus so having to take other options. That's easily avoidable with a bit of communication as services could be retimed and it helps First out by actually putting people onto their buses. It's a bad time but a little communication could help a lot and that's realistic.

Nothing running is gonna make anything other than a loss so at least run it at the most suitable time for key workers
 
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duffers2324

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To be honest I actually thought First might just reverted to a Sunday timetable at the beginning rather than the school holiday timetable, I think people would have understood the need for the massive drop in buses but now obviously even that is being surpassed with the cuts taking place, with something I never thought I would ever witness my local bus the 75 running hourly in the evening, I can probably see the late journeys after 10 maybe completely dropped for all or most routes and as has been mentioned the withdrawal of certain routes, but then its what routes to withdraw which might open up another can of worms if people cant make it with just one bus and need 2 or more buses to get to were they are going.
 

PaulMc7

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To be honest I actually thought First might just reverted to a Sunday timetable at the beginning rather than the school holiday timetable, I think people would have understood the need for the massive drop in buses but now obviously even that is being surpassed with the cuts taking place, with something I never thought I would ever witness my local bus the 75 running hourly in the evening, I can probably see the late journeys after 10 maybe completely dropped for all or most routes and as has been mentioned the withdrawal of certain routes, but then its what routes to withdraw which might open up another can of worms if people cant make it with just one bus and need 2 or more buses to get to were they are going.
It's definitely causing a headache for everyone. I'm in a big predicament where I'm really needing to watch where I apply for NHS jobs because there's only two hospitals in Glasgow I can go to work in where I require only 1 bus to get to and even at that it would mean over an hour on a 6 to the Victoria Infirmary or about 20 mins to Gartnavel. Other than that it's all 2 buses required and it's where the timing of buses is absolutely crucial and why I've been so strong in my desire for First to actually find out what people need to make things easier for themselves and key workers
 

TheGrandWazoo

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It's far easier to achieve than you'd think plus get it right first time around and more cuts then don't need to happen as frequently. If you reduce everything to every 30 mins that would include cutting some services down to cover bringing the hospital ones at least back up to every 30 mins. It's at night especially where everything being hourly will be a bother. As some people have said on social media there's some being left waiting 50/55mins on a bus so having to take other options. That's easily avoidable with a bit of communication as services could be retimed and it helps First out by actually putting people onto their buses. It's a bad time but a little communication could help a lot and that's realistic.

Nothing running is gonna make anything other than a loss so at least run it at the most suitable time for key workers
On what basis do you know that? Do you work for a bus company? Do you have close friends who work in the management/planning functions of bus companies?

You might think it's easy - the reality is quite different. And of course, move the timings back by 15 mins and you'll still get the same issue for someone. It's the frequency that's the issue and as has been said by myself and others, they simply can't be sending out more vehicles to run about with 3/4 people on them. Oh, and don't read twitter - you only ever get the brickbats and rarely the bouquets.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Surely the main thing is First Glasgow (no matter peoples opinion on them) are still providing a service, albeit reduced, during this current crisis allowing people and key workers to still get about.
Indeed - they should be applauded as with other bus companies across the UK. These are absolutely unprecedented times for bus companies. The losses are going to be quite staggering - they can furlough staff and not run services but the fixed costs are still there.

Appreciate that this isn't FG and so a little off topic but these came from Ensign in a letter to their staff:

"Firstly, the all to obvious bad news. Being a fully commercial operation with no contracts that continue to pay even if we are not running our revenue has been decimated. Private hires have dropped to zero with school trips, weddings and social gatherings all cancelled. Service work saw revenue drop by around 60% before we went to an emergency timetable on Monday 23, with schools closed and businesses shuttered, clearly the service is now only for those that are key workers and need to travel and by operating it we are assisting them." and

"Years of operating a tight ship on costs and waste has put us in the position where it is possible for us to sustain this extra support for some time but should this shutdown last for an extended period we will of course have to review the situation again but we all hope dearly that does not become necessary.

It may well be the largest crisis we have ever had to deal with but Ensign has won many wars over the years and we have absolutely no intention of losing this one.
"
Be under no illusions. This is far deeper, far more complex than operator has ever had to deal with.
 
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Scott mac

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More cuts planned for next week all core services 30 min during the day after 6 at night they will go to every hour some other routes will be temporarily withdrawn has any staff been temporarily layoff?
 

jazza374

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I think it has to be remembered when discussing service levels that First Bus staff are putting their own health at risk by continuing to support our key workers with transport. Very sadly a First Bus employee in the Bristol area has already died from this awful virus. I'm incredibly grateful to those emplyees keeping a skeleton service on the road for the benefit of those who need it. The revised service times are well advertised on the website and the ongoing changes are displayed promptly. In my opinion First Bus are to be commended for what they are doing and I sincerely hope that they, all their staff on the frontline and all the other key workers in other industries come through this unscathed.
 

PaulMc7

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On what basis do you know that? Do you work for a bus company? Do you have close friends who work in the management/planning functions of bus companies?

You might think it's easy - the reality is quite different. And of course, move the timings back by 15 mins and you'll still get the same issue for someone. It's the frequency that's the issue and as has been said by myself and others, they simply can't be sending out more vehicles to run about with 3/4 people on them. Oh, and don't read twitter - you only ever get the brickbats and rarely the bouquets.
I've known about 5 or 6 drivers and a couple of office staff in total in the last 5/6 years. Pick the time that suits the most people. Pretty sure most have left now because of how they were treated by management. Clearly follow/interact with a lot of the wrong people on Twitter as I've used it since 2011 and it's been the best social media site by far in recent times plus in this day and age it's really not difficult to get info out, anyone's is better than First's. I do commend First for putting on any service at all but it's perfectly okay to point out where it can be improved in order to help key workers and themselves
 
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scotraildriver

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Here at Scotrail Twitter is being used to respond to key worker concerns and amend the timetable accordingly. However the stark reality is that we are not actually transporting many key workers or indeed anyone. The trains are totally dead as most key workers are driving themselves as that's deemed the safest way to go. This notion that we are moving thousands of key workers isn't actually the reality. I've not worked a train in the last week with any more than 10 people on board, early morning or late at night.
 

Brimfulofasha

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First post! I am a regular bus commuter and work in a city centre office as police staff. I enjoy my bus journeys but, given Government advice and having access to a car (parents aren't using it!), as well as Glasgow City Council relaxing city centre parking charges - no charges in on-street marked bays - I thought it wise to switch to the car. This I did last week, however on Sunday it developed a problem (timing!) and I was today back on the bus.

My return trip from Buchanan Bus Station on the 87 at about 1700 hours on a Tuesday night had 3 passengers on board, yes 3. Does that not say it all? I work for the police, there was a well-dressed man wearing an NHS lanyard and a final man in black with a face mask, looked like shop security. So I just wanted to provide first-hand evidence, that they are most certainly running services to a loss, that they are serving key-workers not all of whom have access to a car, and that it is helping keep things going.
 

Jordan Adam

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As has already been mentioned bus use has fallen by around 85-95% (depending on route) however almost all of those passengers (key workers) are catching buses at peak times only. I suspect in the future we could be seeing off peak buses cut to hourly as while there is still a need to provide some level of service there's certainly not the demand for a half hourly service. As i mentioned before (albeit i believe this has not been formally announced) the Scottish Government have agreed to subsidise operators to keep a basic level of service going. People keep banging on about how the likes of First and Stagecoach can survive because they're "big" companies, however the reality is that without funding they wouldn't be able to provide any bus service in a few weeks time as there simply wouldn't be the money to pay drivers and fuel up vehicles! Obviously it's far from ideal to be having a hourly service but what more can you expect when bus use is so low and why should operators provide a unrealistic higher frequency just to please those who have poor time management, if you miss the bus that's your own fault!

Even with the revised timetables coming in tomorrow Glasgow will still have a far better level of service when compared to most other cities!
 

PaulMc7

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As has already been mentioned bus use has fallen by around 85-95% (depending on route) however almost all of those passengers (key workers) are catching buses at peak times only. I suspect in the future we could be seeing off peak buses cut to hourly as while there is still a need to provide some level of service there's certainly not the demand for a half hourly service. As i mentioned before (albeit i believe this has not been formally announced) the Scottish Government have agreed to subsidise operators to keep a basic level of service going. People keep banging on about how the likes of First and Stagecoach can survive because they're "big" companies, however the reality is that without funding they wouldn't be able to provide any bus service in a few weeks time as there simply wouldn't be the money to pay drivers and fuel up vehicles! Obviously it's far from ideal to be having a hourly service but what more can you expect when bus use is so low and why should operators provide a unrealistic higher frequency just to please those who have poor time management, if you miss the bus that's your own fault!

Even with the revised timetables coming in tomorrow Glasgow will still have a far better level of service when compared to most other cities!
I personally would be fine with hourly if they timed well enough for people to get the most use of them. The problem with hospitals and supermarkets especially is that starting and finishing times vary so much that finding out from them directly is essential as that's what can help bus companies minimise the damage. If ever there was a time for First to really step up communication with passengers to get the most out of it it's now during the worst crisis we've ever had and probably ever will have in our lifetimes.

Even a simple questionnaire on twitter/Facebook asking where people work and when they start/finish would lead to a bigger understanding of when is best to schedule them. Either that or contact key workplaces directly in order to find out
 

Jordan Adam

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I personally would be fine with hourly if they timed well enough for people to get the most use of them. The problem with hospitals and supermarkets especially is that starting and finishing times vary so much that finding out from them directly is essential as that's what can help bus companies minimise the damage. If ever there was a time for First to really step up communication with passengers to get the most out of it it's now during the worst crisis we've ever had and probably ever will have in our lifetimes.

Even a simple questionnaire on twitter/Facebook asking where people work and when they start/finish would lead to a bigger understanding of when is best to schedule them. Either that or contact key workplaces directly in order to find out
That's the problem though, people are too complacent on having a bus past their street every few minutes and fail to learn how to compromise in times of need. Regardless of how buses are scheduled there's always going to be someone who moans, i'm in no way saying the timetables are perfect, but i really don't think it's fair to say First or any other operator haven't tried. The temporary timetables are under constant review and if enough people ask for a service to be added at a certain time it likely will.
 

PaulMc7

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That's the problem though, people are too complacent on having a bus past their street every few minutes and fail to learn how to compromise in times of need. Regardless of how buses are scheduled there's always going to be someone who moans, i'm in no way saying the timetables are perfect, but i really don't think it's fair to say First or any other operator haven't tried. The temporary timetables are under constant review and if enough people ask for a service to be added at a certain time it likely will.
Yeah I agree with complacency. There's been tons of it in Glasgow from passengers in recent years. Yeah the problem with people especially online is that they're not specific enough when they have queries even before all of this happened. I do think a lot of people need to be asked what the issue is though and First could do it pretty quickly. Stagecoach from what I've seen over the years have been very good at it and it's not a massive thing to do. A bit of consumer feedback will help a lot of businesses in every industry at any time but especially now
 

38A-Z

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Yeah I agree with complacency. There's been tons of it in Glasgow from passengers in recent years. Yeah the problem with people especially online is that they're not specific enough when they have queries even before all of this happened. I do think a lot of people need to be asked what the issue is though and First could do it pretty quickly. Stagecoach from what I've seen over the years have been very good at it and it's not a massive thing to do. A bit of consumer feedback will help a lot of businesses in every industry at any time but especially now
I don’t think there’s been time to do customer feedback due to how quickly everything has moved on over the last week or two.

I think First Glasgow have done well on this, they could have slashed the frequencies at a very early stage but they’ve done it gradually. (And updated their website). They have used the passenger info/ major drop in numbers to work out timetables that will work.

Shops, pubs and restaurants etc are closing or have closed. Will they all re-open when this is all over? Buses are running but nearly empty and at a loss. Will these companies be running when this is all over? No business should be operating at a loss. I think we should be grateful for any services still going and for the companies and drivers that are making this happen!
 

PaulMc7

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I don’t think there’s been time to do customer feedback due to how quickly everything has moved on over the last week or two.

I think First Glasgow have done well on this, they could have slashed the frequencies at a very early stage but they’ve done it gradually. (And updated their website). They have used the passenger info/ major drop in numbers to work out timetables that will work.

Shops, pubs and restaurants etc are closing or have closed. Will they all re-open when this is all over? Buses are running but nearly empty and at a loss. Will these companies be running when this is all over? No business should be operating at a loss. I think we should be grateful for any services still going and for the companies and drivers that are making this happen!
With how advanced communication is you'd only really need a day or two to get the feedback which could have been started from the beginning of this. For example, do we really need anything running above every 30 mins? and if they had communicated earlier then some services could have been put hourly immediately to reduce some of the losses. Services like the 21, 263 etc could have been hourly from the beginning. I think they've done well in some regards but it's fair to suggest feedback that could help them more. It's such a chaotic situation so helping each other(business and customer alike) is something we need to do more of. I reckon it'll take 18/24 months for everything to really settle down after this and god knows what will be left but something that can help that build back up is being a good company showing everything to be looking out for people in this current time. There's already fairly big lists of companies around who people are turning on due to the actions of owners so if First can do so much to avoid that it could be key going forward
 

Volvodart

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As has already been pointed out to you, First have cut out a lot less than some of the other larger bus companies.
 

38A-Z

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With how advanced communication is you'd only really need a day or two to get the feedback which could have been started from the beginning of this. For example, do we really need anything running above every 30 mins? and if they had communicated earlier then some services could have been put hourly immediately to reduce some of the losses. Services like the 21, 263 etc could have been hourly from the beginning. I think they've done well in some regards but it's fair to suggest feedback that could help them more. It's such a chaotic situation so helping each other(business and customer alike) is something we need to do more of. I reckon it'll take 18/24 months for everything to really settle down after this and god knows what will be left but something that can help that build back up is being a good company showing everything to be looking out for people in this current time. There's already fairly big lists of companies around who people are turning on due to the actions of owners so if First can do so much to avoid that it could be key going forward
If you own your own business, it’s not normal to make major decisions based on feedback in a ‘day or two’. That’s reactive, not proactive. That can lead to disaster.
If they quickly reacted to the situation and cut services like the ‘21, 263 etc’ to hourly, there would be major feedback. If they did this, they would probably have cut the very frequent ones to 20/ 30 mins etc. at an early stage. (Eg 18/75).
They have done it sensibly, cutting it gradually, so they can keep it running and adjust/ reduce vs demand.
I think FG have held their head up high on this.
I don’t think many or any businesses are looking for feedback just now. I think their focus is on keeping the business going, if they are lucky enough to be able to do this.
I'm disappointed that someone is focusing on the negatives of what the company is doing in these very difficult times rather than the positives. It’s been said on previous posts that they are running at a loss, so I think we should be praising the company and staff for all they are doing.
 

PaulMc7

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If you own your own business, it’s not normal to make major decisions based on feedback in a ‘day or two’. That’s reactive, not proactive. That can lead to disaster.
If they quickly reacted to the situation and cut services like the ‘21, 263 etc’ to hourly, there would be major feedback. If they did this, they would probably have cut the very frequent ones to 20/ 30 mins etc. at an early stage. (Eg 18/75).
They have done it sensibly, cutting it gradually, so they can keep it running and adjust/ reduce vs demand.
I think FG have held their head up high on this.
I don’t think many or any businesses are looking for feedback just now. I think their focus is on keeping the business going, if they are lucky enough to be able to do this.
I'm disappointed that someone is focusing on the negatives of what the company is doing in these very difficult times rather than the positives. It’s been said on previous posts that they are running at a loss, so I think we should be praising the company and staff for all they are doing.
I've praised first too so don't ignore that. The staff have done a great job but all I've done is say stuff because I'd want First to have it a bit better than currently. It's all constructive criticism which is something I'm perfectly entitled to bring up. There's been plenty of it for companies everywhere and in the toughest time we are likely to ever face, we all want companies to survive. We are all allowed opinions and at the end of the day, it would never be me calling anyone wrong for raising perfectly valid concerns to help a business. I'm pro First as I've relied on them constantly and they've provided better service for me than anyone else ever has. I want that to continue for as long as humanly possible so some other services could be cut to help that but feedback coming in could be used to really help minimise the damage. Even if it leads to some services running peak only or way less frequently off-peak it could make a massive difference. Nobody here wants First to struggle including me. I guess I'm just far more open-minded to accepting different opinions and looking out for other people that aren't me. If people have opinions I'm all for hearing them. I won't claim they're wrong as that's the beauty of opinions. No right or wrong answers with this.
 
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38A-Z

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I've praised first too so don't ignore that. The staff have done a great job but all I've done is say stuff because I'd want First to have it a bit better than currently. It's all constructive criticism which is something I'm perfectly entitled to bring up. There's been plenty of it for companies everywhere and in the toughest time we are likely to ever face, we all want companies to survive. We are all allowed opinions and at the end of the day, it would never be me calling anyone wrong for raising perfectly valid concerns to help a business. I'm pro First as I've relied on them constantly and they've provided better service for me than anyone else ever has. I want that to continue for as long as humanly possible so some other services could be cut to help that but feedback coming in could be used to really help minimise the damage. Even if it leads to some services running peak only or way less frequently off-peak it could make a massive difference. Nobody here wants First to struggle including me. I guess I'm just far more open-minded to accepting different opinions and looking out for other people that aren't me. If people have opinions I'm all for hearing them. I won't claim they're wrong as that's the beauty of opinions. No right or wrong answers with this.
just to clarify, I didn’t say you were wrong or that I’m not listening to ‘constructive criticism’, I just said I was disappointed that you are focussing on the negatives. As you say, we’re all entitled to our opinions.
FG have adapted to the changes and kept things running. One bus an hour is better than no bus.
 

PaulMc7

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just to clarify, I didn’t say you were wrong or that I’m not listening to ‘constructive criticism’, I just said I was disappointed that you are focussing on the negatives. As you say, we’re all entitled to our opinions.
FG have adapted to the changes and kept things running. One bus an hour is better than no bus.
To be fair that was poorly worded which I apologise for. Was meaning towards others that have said I'm wrong. You've actually handled this the right way. One bus an hour with times worked out from feedback from those that need it most is better than without it and that's my main concern. It's a problematic time for everyone so it's hard to get perfect but putting the opportunities out there for people to give feedback could save First a fair amount of money. That's the thing we all want. There's times that won't need services to run but without looking for feedback there's no way to know before running them and losing the money
 

PaulMc7

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In terms of proactive vs reactive, I think a lot of things are reactive at the moment. I've come up with what I'd do for finding out info.

Online questionnaires on Twitter, Facebook and on the website with the following things:

Services you need to use
What time you need it to work
What time you need it back from work
Work location
How many days do you need the service?

These times aren't ideal but even from 5 simple questions that would take a min at most to answer and submit it would narrow down a lot of services that don't need to operate and others that could be reduced further. It's tough times but even things as simple as this could help a lot. It may lead to some services being every 90 mins/2 hours but if they operate at a time where most people need them then that's the main thing. After this, if people then still did not use them then reduce further. Allowing people to answer these constantly would also allow for changing services as and when required if circumstances change.

Just seen too that Stagecoach in Fife are linking feedback forms on Twitter to anyone who has queries and can't make their normal journey due to cuts in order to provide feedback to who's in charge. Shows how easy it is to set up something like that and tbh every company should have something like that at all times with changes
 
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TheGrandWazoo

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In terms of proactive vs reactive, I think a lot of things are reactive at the moment. I've come up with what I'd do for finding out info.

Online questionnaires on Twitter, Facebook and on the website with the following things:

Services you need to use
What time you need it to work
What time you need it back from work
Work location
How many days do you need the service?

These times aren't ideal but even from 5 simple questions that would take a min at most to answer and submit it would narrow down a lot of services that don't need to operate and others that could be reduced further. It's tough times but even things as simple as this could help a lot. It may lead to some services being every 90 mins/2 hours but if they operate at a time where most people need them then that's the main thing. After this, if people then still did not use them then reduce further. Allowing people to answer these constantly would also allow for changing services as and when required if circumstances change.

Just seen too that Stagecoach in Fife are linking feedback forms on Twitter to anyone who has queries and can't make their normal journey due to cuts in order to provide feedback to who's in charge. Shows how easy it is to set up something like that and tbh every company should have something like that at all times with changes
Fortunately, I know one of the Fife management. They may be asking for feedback but it isn't fundamentally changing what they are doing.

However, if it makes you feel better.......
 

PaulMc7

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Fortunately, I know one of the Fife management. They may be asking for feedback but it isn't fundamentally changing what they are doing.

However, if it makes you feel better.......
At least they have the decency to ask for feedback in an industry where passengers literally keep them in it....
 

EMU303

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Depending on how long this lockdown lasts and the inevitable long term damage to the economy, and perhaps a permanent increase in the number of people working from home, no one will be surprised if service levels are permanently reduced. It might be 'simple' tweaks like permanently making a 10min frequency a 12min one, or a 12min one becoming 15mins etc, but taking everything into account it looks like the overall UK bus fleets will reduce in size.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Depending on how long this lockdown lasts and the inevitable long term damage to the economy, and perhaps a permanent increase in the number of people working from home, no one will be surprised if service levels are permanently reduced. It might be 'simple' tweaks like permanently making a 10min frequency a 12min one, or a 12min one becoming 15mins etc, but taking everything into account it looks like the overall UK bus fleets will reduce in size.
Absolutely right. Even whilst deregulation was a seismic event, this possibly has the potential to have a greater impact. You mention home working as being one aspect, and certainly, my other half's employer has been one that insisted you were office bound. All have been issued with laptops so they can now WFH - will that be reversed? Probably not and there will be many other firms who have crossed the Rubicon. Similarly, there will be many more people who have also availed themselves of online shopping for both grocery and non-food who had never done so before.

If this lockdown continues for months rather than weeks, you can expect those behaviours to be more entrenched

The ability for businesses to even survive this period is questionable. Remember that whilst the furloughing is 80% paid for by the government (up to a cap), fixed costs continue to be incurred.

It is perfectly reasonable to see many routes have headways widened, services disappear and operators go under. Glasgow and its environs will not be immune to those effects.
 

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