Why do smaller bus operators want to know where you're going on a bus pass?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by 175mph, 10 Feb 2017.

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  1. 175mph

    175mph Member

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    In Scunthorpe we have Stagecoach and a small independent operator called Hornsbys www.hornsbytravel.co.uk running the town network.

    When it comes to using a concessionary bus pass on the Stagecoach buses, all you need to do is pop your bus pass on top of the ticket machine, it prints your ticket automatically without any driver intervention and you don't even need to state your destination.

    The driver only intervenes if there is a problem such as the machine not reading your pass.


    With Hornsbys however, you put the pass on the machine, but the driver insists on knowing exactly where you are going, then inputs it on the touchscreen, before you take your ticket.

    When I asked one driver why, they said it's so that the council knows exactly how much to reimburse us for each passenger's journey made with a pass as the subsidiaries are measured in the distance the passenger has travelled on that route with their pass.

    Another driver however said that's not true at all, it doesn't matter how far on a bus route anyone travels with a pass on, they only ever get reimbursed 50p for each journey on a bus pass recorded.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Some Councils do reimburse a proportion of the adult single fare so they have to know what it is. Question is, is the reimbursement in any given Council area always the same, or does it vary by operator?
     
  3. robertclark125

    robertclark125 Established Member

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    Well here in Fife, my mum says that she has to tell the driver of the Stagecoach bus where she is going, when using her pass.
     
  4. 175mph

    175mph Member

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    And to add as well, if travelling to Goole or Hull on an East Yorkshire service, bus pass holders don't get asked for their destination if they don't state it, and don't even get issued a zero fare ticket, just pop the pass on the ticket machine and the driver presses a button and says yes, then you can take your seat.
     
  5. Stan Drews

    Stan Drews Member

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    In Scotland, away from the major cities, the concessionary reimbursement to operators is based on a percentage (around 57%) of the adult single fare, hence the requirement for the destination to be recorded.
    In England the situation is much more complex, and varies from authority to authority, but again, it is not uncommon for the destination to be required for the same reason as above.
    If no destination is required, it means that the operator is not being reimbursed based on the length of journey or the equivalent adult fare. This is clearly more common on shorter routes in towns and cities, where they may be only one or two adult fares.
     
  6. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    In Cheshire East ENCTS holders are supposed to tell the operator where they are travelling to whoever the operator is, whether it's a big operator like Arriva or a little operator like Tomlinson Travel. However, over the border in Greater Manchester that isn't required.
     
  7. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    Could be two other factors. Driver wanting to check that the passenger is on the right bus and knows which stop people are likely to want to use.

    The company may want passenger destination figures for route monitoring.
     
  8. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

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    Some routes have flat fares, so it doesn't matter where you get on/off, with other routes it depends on distance so that might be why they have to ask!
     
  9. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    could be a number of reasons...

    some operators want to know where ALL their passengers are travelling to/ from so they can better match supply and demand

    some ticket machines require you to put in a fare stage to issue a ticket

    here in wales First Cymru have ticket machines that do not issue a ticket to pass holders at all, whilst Arriva used to have machines that automatically issued a ticket to the final destination... where as the operators that were supplied by the WAG were issued with machines that require a farestage to be entered...

    of course there is also the issue of driver laziness in some cases....
     
  10. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I suspect that Hornsbys will only be reimbursed for a proportion of the notional fare, whereas Stagecoach will have some other arrangement with the council based on some formula or other. This may or may not be unfair to Hornsbys as opposed to Stagecoach, but there is probably little this small operator can do about it.

    In Cornwall, when the liquidators of Western Greyhound produced an interim report they revealed that Cornwall Council owed, in their opinion, a six figure sum for reimbursement of which not a penny had been forthcoming. I have not heard whether this has been resolved, but it does show the very unsatisfactory nature of the act that brought the English national pass into existence.
     
  11. richw

    richw Established Member

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    The administration progress report states that the company director felt £150k was due in unpaid concession fares.

    Cornwall council however put in a counter claim of £60k being owed to them
     
  12. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    So that's £90k owed by Cornwall Council, on their own admission?! I'm sure the full story of the rise and fall of WG, with all the peaks and troughs in-between, will surface one day. I have a feeling none of the major protagonists will come out smelling of roses.
     
  13. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Potentially if both claims went uncontested. I'm unsure if in insolvency though that the £60k can offset what is owed from council to WG? Otherwise others could argue the council got preferential treatment. The last documentation showed non priority creditors only had received 5% of debts paid. So the council would get to keep 3k on that percentage.

    There are no public administration or liquidation documents since Feb 2016.
     
  14. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Is that just those who have ENCTS passes issued by Cheshire East, as i've caught buses in Crewe & Macclesfield using a Merseytravel issued ENCTS pass but not been asked where i'm going to.


    Merseytravel area you don't need to state destination using ENCTS passes, apart from Stagecoach buses from Lancashire based depots as they issue zero fare tickets when you show ENCTS passes.
     
  15. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    The worst thing from the passholder's point of view (assuming that they know on boarding where they are intending to travel to, which may not always be the case) is the assumption by many drivers that you know how the system works on his/her bus, including whether you have the pass scanned or not (and, if so, where exactly you place it) and whether you are required to state a destination. Maybe if you travel the same route/operator every day you will know, but if you get out and about a bit more you may use different operators and travel outside your own area. Reading through this thread there are many variations, and logic doesn't seem to play much of a part.
     
  16. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Indeed. The council would only be a preferred creditor if the administrator envisaged the operator continuing to run some services for the council.
     
  17. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    It might only be contracted services or exclude routes where there is a fixed single fare.
     
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