FirstGroup achieved record passenger satisfaction in Passenger Focus’ latest Bus Passenger Survey

Aberdeen, Scotland, 2014-03-26 — /Travel PR News/ — Managing Director of FirstGroup’s Bus Division, Giles Fearnley, has welcomed the results of the latest Bus Passenger Survey (BPS) published by independent watchdog, Passenger Focus.

The results show a 5% rise in overall passenger satisfaction across First’s services to 86% since the last survey. The company has also seen an increase in score in 34 of the 35 variables measured by Passenger Focus.

“Today’s Passenger Focus results are further evidence that our transformation plan is working,” said Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First UK Bus, one of the largest bus operators in the UK running approximately one in five of all local bus services.  “Our passenger satisfaction scores are improving across the board while passenger volumes are also increasing as customers begin to recognise and welcome the improvements we are making to services across our operations.

“Our strategy is delivering services that are more punctual and reliable; we are fostering better and stronger partnerships with Local Authorities and other stakeholders; we’re investing in new vehicles (£310m invested in 2,000 new vehicles over four years); we’re offering value for money fares; and by the end of 2014 all our bus companies will roll out mobile ticketing options.”

He continued: “The positive Passenger Focus results come as no surprise.  We’ve made some far reaching improvements throughout the UK that are reaping rewards.  Fares reductions in Manchester for example have persuaded an extra 150,000 people per week to travel with First and contributed to an improvement of more than 30% in our value for money score in that area.  Our new simpliCITY network in Glasgow is providing better and more frequent services which is reflected in a tremendous overall satisfaction score of 91%.  Our partnership model in Sheffield goes from strength to strength with ever improving satisfaction scores.  I’m delighted too that our Suffolk operations finished joint second amongst English operators with a score of 93%.

“Across all our operations, including those not covered by Passenger Focus’ survey, our transformation programme is resulting in better bus services and passenger growth.  Of course we’ve still got more to do across all our markets and I’m very confident that Passenger Focus will have an even better First customer satisfaction story to share next year.”

First UK Bus Key Results
·        86% of First passengers said they were ‘very/fairly’ satisfied with their overall journey (a rise of 5% compared to 2013)
·        First has seen an increase in score in 34 of the 35 variables measured, the exception being journey time which has remained static
·        93% of First passengers in Suffolk said they were ‘very/fairly’ satisfied with their overall journey (second highest amongst operators in England)
·        First in Greater Manchester recorded a 31% increase in value for money scores to 71%
·        First has recorded an overall 10% increase in value for money scores
·        First has recorded an overall 9% increase in punctuality scores
·        First has recorded increases in all the criteria measured on the bus including cleanliness, route information, boarding times, the ease of entry and exit and comfort
·        First has recorded increases in all criteria relating to the driver’s performance including appearance, helpfulness, attitude and smoothness of the journey

To download the full BPS report, visit: