Back in May, our eBook, ‘The Road to Recovery’ sought to help bus operators predict and plan for recovery.
That process is now well underway, so we now turn our attention to planning for the ‘new normal’.
Buses remain part of the answer to so many of society’s problems: decarbonisation, poor air quality, traffic congestion, liveable cities, public health, loneliness... If the industry can navigate this daunting period there remain many reasons to be positive about the future.
So, as lockdowns ease and some sections of the economy reopen, now is the time to assess what the immediate future looks like for buses. In this fast-changing environment, bus operators will need to respond to rapid and unforeseeable changes in demand at a time when they need to spend every penny as wisely as possible.
There is a long list of unanswered questions, and the challenge will be to anticipate the correct answers before they emerge. In short, our industry needs to be more agile than it has ever been before.
The good news is that it has a valuable new tool at its disposal: big data.
Some of the industry’s most respected operators are already making use of its predictive power.
Asked about the potential for big data in the bus industry, Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of the Go-Ahead Group’s Go North East subsidiary, said: “We have only just started to scratch the surface of it. We are led a lot by previous experience, by our own local insight, by discussions with stakeholders, and that's all really, really important. But actually we are moving into uncharted territory and I think that data-driven decisions are going to be all the more important.”
"We are led a lot by previous experience, by our own local insight, by discussions with stakeholders, and that's all really, really important. But actually we are moving into uncharted territory and I think that data-driven decisions are going to be all the more important.”
For our latest eBook, ‘Bus Network Development Strategy for the New Normal’ we’ve spoken to key players and senior industry figures to understand how bus operators can react and adapt in the months and years ahead. We also probe how the ‘new normal’ will differ from the ‘old normal’, what it will mean for bus operators and how they should respond by making the most of their data and using the very latest tools and new technologies available.