Improving Bus Service Quality and Information in Winchester

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - reliability, operations - frequency, infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - fleet management, planning - route design, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, planning - signage/information, policy - parking, economics - appraisal/evaluation, organisation - management, technology - passenger information, place - cbd, mode - bus, mode - park and ride


Winchester (England), Traveler information and communication systems, Surveys, Stagecoach Group, Service quality, Ridership, Reliability, Quality of service, Public private partnerships, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passenger service quality, Passenger service, Passenger information, Park and ride, New vehicles, Motor coaches, Intracity bus transportation, Infrastructure, Fringe parking, Frequency of service, Fleet management, Evaluation and assessment, Downtowns, Customer satisfaction, Cost effectiveness, City centers, Central business districts, Case studies, Buses, Bus usage, Bus travel, Bus transit, Bus routes


This paper reports the results of a package of measures, contained within a quality bus partnership (QBP), designed to improve bus service quality and information on three city centre routes in Winchester, including the Park and Ride (P&R) service. These measures were implemented by Hampshire County Council, Stagecoach Bus Company and Winchester City Council as part of the EU sponsored MIRACLES project, which ran from 2002 to 2006 and whose aims included reducing the environmental impacts of transport at the local level while increasing urban accessibility. These measures included the introduction of new buses, increasing the frequency of one of the main city centre bus routes, new bus infrastructure such as new shelters and poles, physical improvements to the bus/rail interchange and the printing of pocket travel maps. In addition, one of the P&R car parks was extended so that the capacity of the scheme was doubled. The objectives of this work package were to contribute to an 8% increase in bus patronage and the satisfaction rating of bus passengers on the QBP routes as well as integrating public transport services more effectively within Winchester. A review was carried out of bus travel and users' needs, quality bus partnerships, bus-based P&R schemes and the importance of frequency of service to increasing patronage. In order to evaluate the effects of these measures, data were collected from the bus operator Stagecoach regarding patronage, reliability and the average age of the fleet. In addition, two bus questionnaire surveys were carried out to assess passenger's views to changes made to these three city centre bus services. An evaluation of the QBP routes was made to see how quickly investments made in purchasing the new buses and extending the P&R car park would be recovered. Conclusions and recommendations have been made with regard to the effectiveness of the changes made to the three bus city centre services as well as their cost effectiveness.


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