What counts as public transport?

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by roadierway77, 10 Sep 2019.

  1. roadierway77

    roadierway77 New Member

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    At the moment I'm making a map of public transport in the UK. And I need to know what to include.

    Obviously trains, buses, ferries, trams etc are all public transport. An argument can be made for taxis, but they don't run to a set schedule like trains or buses. In rural areas like Lincolnshire I'm aware on-demand minibuses (demand-responsive transport) run to remote villages, would these count?

    How about the minibus to Cape Wrath? Unlike a taxi, this is set to run 7 days a week from Easter till October but doesn't run to a set schedule as it relies on the Durness ferry operating, which can operate at different times due to the weather or sometimes not operate at all.

    And then there's heritage railways. Anybody can purchase a ticket on these railways, but their main purpose is for leisure. If these are included what about, say, the Ruislip Lido railway? This might be a stretch and personally I wouldn't include this but it could be used for other purposes than leisure.

    How about people-movers at airports, like the ULTra system at Heathrow, or the AirRail Link at Birmingham Airport?

    What are people's opinions on what should be considered public transport?
     
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  3. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    The Wikipedia definition seems about right to me.
    "Public transport is a system of transport for passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public, typically managed on a schedule, operated on established routes, and that charge a posted fee for each trip."

    On the question of taxis - in both Belfast & Liverpool, taxis used to operate on some routes on the basis that anyone could flag them down and board, even if one or more people were already on board. Effectively they were like the dolmuĊŸ in Turkey and similar systems in many other eastern European and Asian countries. I am not sure whether they still operate in those two cities, or even elsewhere in the UK, and if they do wheher you would want to include them.
     
  4. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    I've used heritage railways to get somewhere before
     
  5. vlad

    vlad Member

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    I'd say this is public transport as it's a timetabled run open to all, even if the timetable changes.

    It's not the only one - there's a bus to Lindisfarne that can only run at low tide.
     
  6. etr221

    etr221 Member

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    One consideration I would take into account is its VAT treatment: "public passenger transport" is generally zero rated - see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-vat-treatment-of-passenger-transport-notice-744a for details.

    If I were making such a map, I would combine that condition (zero rated for VAT) with 'mapability' - that there is some sort of published schedule of service along some sort of established route (if there isn't, what are you mapping?)
     
  7. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    The airline/cable car over the Thames must be the most used non convential public transport system? Cable cars include ski lifts in Scotland and the one up to the Great Orme!
     
  8. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    Would funiculars or zahnradbahns count as non conventional? I'd be surprised if there weren't some of those that are more heavily used than the dangleway. Oh, or are you just talking about in the UK?
     
  9. mark-h

    mark-h Member

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    It would be interesting to know what percentage of the passengers are using it as "transport" rather than as a novelty/sightseeing experience.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I would probably suggest something like "a form of transport where the vehicle is not dedicated to an individual, where an individual fare is payable for each person travelling (though not to the exclusion of group discounts), and where any[1] fare-paying member of the public can travel on payment of said fare provided capacity is available".

    Taxis, Sadiq cycles (!), car clubs etc are not really "public transport", though they do have a role. A privately hired coach is not public transport.

    [1] Probably including arbitrary subsets, e.g. dedicated bus services for disabled people and village buses - the key is that the ability to use the service is not dedicated to a group of individuals other than on objective criteria like disability. Though some private estates' bus services come a little close to this line.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    More people would if (the Olympics excepted) it operated between two locations that actually had any travel demand between them. It's difficult to build it into any reasonable journey deliberately (other than just doing an out and back) - I've tried a few times - let alone for it to fulfil a transport need.
     

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