London Buses (not a debate) (1 Viewer)

Would it be a good idea for TFL to let buses be ran by one massive operator?


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thegamer7893

Well-Known Member
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400
Unrelated: Would have loved free travel here but sadly private operators only means nope. A lot of things London's Transport has which people take for granted would be wanted and welcome everywhere else in the UK.

That's why Transport boards for the other major cities across the UK need to start taking control of certain things and things such as bus passes could be introduced
 

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Ddogb

[CU] - JTR
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3,467
Zip should be scrapped. It costs too much money, don’t forget a lot of the load is school children. There’s no reason for children to get free travel, discounted maybe, but not free.
The zip card I have been against for a while, and I’m glad something is being done about it.
no doubt most people on this thread are eligible for it, so I’m gonna get an ass whopping probably
I disagree, upping the one yearly cost yes but my mum could not afford to get my two sisters to school even with half fear, Its a life line for so many kids and parents.

I have no problem with the fear increase that will be coming nor removal of hopper fear (never liked that) but zip is not an open shut case.

Edit:
In idea i have had is to only allow fee travel during the shool rush, best of both worlds kids get to school, when of to mates ect you pay.
That seems like a fair system
 
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LT586

Living in the editor
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TfL employees also get free travel along with their partners. Nominee pass and staff travel. As BKG says, they’ve been slipping for a while. The real profit is in the private operators; like I said earlier iBus came along as they were loosing out, apparently the private operators were making millions and LT before TfL was loosing out.

I did hear from a driver that TfL will probably go back to being London Transport same with LNER going back to a government operated franchise of sorts. I could be wrong but we could of told them privatisation of such a massive organisation wouldn’t work. Look at Notwork Fail
 
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MusicMat

New Member
2
2
Sadly London Buses do seem to run at a loss, It's been known that other sections of TfL that are profitable (Such as the Tube & Rail Services) have subsidised buses over the last few years for a few hundred thousand. The current social distancing rules obviously mean they'll be running losses. - I personally think making the buses "Free" in lock-down probably didn't help.

TfL have been tinkering with bus routes for years, especially with the long overdue Elizabeth Line / Crossrail / Purple Train...
E.g Proposals to change the Route 104 East London (Stratford to Manor Park) will be re-routed, cut short & split into two, the plan is for the 104 to run Stratford to Beckton Bus Station & a new route 304 Manor Park to Custom House. - This maybe simplifying he routes, but it seems more to be Crossrail feeder routes.

I recall seeing a Bus Network Report online from London Assembly (2016 ish) that called for more reliable & outer London Bus Services, including some 'Orbital' services highlighting the nature of people's journeys where they would have to come halfway across town to go back out again to reach a destination, I believe the report said tendering should be reviewed, with possibility of having Multi Operators to run High Frequency / heavy loading routes.
Which would be a very interesting way of operating!

How would that sort of multi-route contract even work - Guaranteed X amount of mileage / hours, what iBus team would control such a route, or would TfL's CentreComm / NMCC bring that in-house.?!
 

LT586

Living in the editor
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I am just pleased I have a car now, running a car is much cheaper than paying bus fare. £40 for a full tank which lasts just over a month. It’s over 80 odd for a bus pass and £180 odd for a month travelcard in London
 
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thegamer7893

Well-Known Member
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I am just pleased I have a car now, running a car is much cheaper than paying bus fare. £40 for a full tank which lasts just over a month. It’s over 80 odd for a bus pass and £180 odd for a month travelcard in London

A contributor to pollution! (so will I when I get a car) ;(

However, a car is of a much more convenient form of transport as opposed to buses and also you save money so it is what it is (I guess)

What would you do to make the bus network more efficient and to operate better?
 

BKG93

BKG Studios
86
430
TFL don't want to get rid of the Zip or Freedom cards, the government is trying to force them to. Same as the door situation they were following gov advice and thought I disagree with the single door thing I understand the reason behind it.

TFL has now been threatened that if the mayor of London dose not agree to

  • -Scrap the Zip & 60+
  • Up fears higher than inflation
  • Extend the congestion charge to the north and south circular
  • And add an new tax to pay for TFL

The gov will take control of the network, the mayor of London fully disagrees with what is being asked but gets blamed for it. He ant perfect but TFL falling is not on his shoulders
Some of the cost cutting measures such as the congestion charge extension were Khan's idea. Theres a good interview with Piers Morgan where Khan admits the government told him to save money but it was up to him how. He chose the congestion increase, and a number of other measures which is where the blame comes from.

With the zip oyster in general, its not needed. Not done away with but replaced with a more suitable scheme. There's no need for childrens train travel to be 75p regardless of distance, however discounted or free bus travel is needed where walking is perhaps not an option. This is what a lot of the rest of the country sees in its place. I paid a £10 deposit for my Zip card 8 or so years ago, I certainly used a couple of thousand pounds worth of transport (a lot of it leisure), which wasn't exactly needed.
 
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ITS A11

Gud Ebening
408
525
Zip should be scrapped. It costs too much money, don’t forget a lot of the load is school children. There’s no reason for children to get free travel, discounted maybe, but not free.
The zip card I have been against for a while, and I’m glad something is being done about it.
no doubt most people on this thread are eligible for it, so I’m gonna get an ass whopping probably

I disagree, upping the one yearly cost yes but my mum could not afford to get my two sisters to school even with half fear, Its a life line for so many kids and parents.

I have no problem with the fear increase that will be coming nor removal of hopper fear (never liked that) but zip is not an open shut case.

Edit:
In idea i have had is to only allow fee travel during the shool rush, best of both worlds kids get to school, when of to mates ect you pay.
That seems like a fair system
I have to disagree @FirstEnviro like Ddogb says, some families may not be able to afford bus fares for their kids and in some rare cases, some kids may be travelling in the dark on a bus, but if they have to walk and their home is in a dodgy area then something may happen to them and it wouldn't be their fault. I do think that there's a reason for people like me to use the bus free. It saves money for less fortunate families who may not be able to buy a car like I've heard people say here. And finally, for people who go to schools further away, I don't think it'll be best for them to walk to and from. Hope I got my message across, don't wanna sound too negative 🙂
 

thegamer7893

Well-Known Member
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400
Is it me or is it that passengers have a problem with waiting for a long time whilst a bus is at a timing point.... Today, I was in the 55 and had to get off cos of it having to wait 10 mins before continuing. This resulted in people (assumingly in a rush or can't wait) having to alight. Is there an issue with buses being early or are early buses good? @LT586
 
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LazyGuy222

Resident First Leicester Enthusiast
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Today, a 55 that I was on was 10 mins early and was also going to change drivers so as a result of this, I (and many other passengers) decided to get off and I ended up getting a 230 to where I was going.... #scrapheadway #bringbacktimetables @LT586
If it was early, then it would've been running to a timetable? You can't be early if there isn't a timetable as there would not be a time they need to stick to. Unsurprisingly, your theory is yet again flawed.
Headway does work. You still got to where you were going, and if you are so concerned about timings, don't use the bus.
 

LazyGuy222

Resident First Leicester Enthusiast
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Mod. note: Lock forum please - no longer needs to be open

Also @LazyGuy222 explain headway cos idk what that means
Headway: The time between the arrivals of two public transport services with the same stopping pattern. A service with a frequency of 6 vehicles per hour will have headway of 10 minutes.

Why you are using a word you don't even understand in your responses is beyond me.

EDIT: For those of you wondering where he used headway, he edited his post. His original version can be seen in my previous post in the attached quote.
 
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BKG93

BKG Studios
86
430
Mod. note: Lock forum please - no longer needs to be open

Also @LazyGuy222 explain headway cos idk what that means
'Headway' in London, is a system that is used on a lot of its busier routes where frequency is high, and delays are common.

For example, route 55 travels into Central London, so sticking to a timetable where buses are every 6 minutes would be incredibly difficult, as even being 3 minutes late would leave triple the gap in front compared to behind. So what they do, is they have a rough timetable set out (mainly for administration purposes like when and where to change drivers etc), but this timetable is not published publicly just the phrase "every 6 minutes". The gap of 6 minutes between buses is prioritised over the timetable, so if the bus in front becomes 5 minutes late, every vehicle behind will be made 5 minutes late to preserve the 6 minute gap. Eventually the 5 minute gap works its way round the entire route and all 35 buses are back with an even headway.

Normally the holding is done at terminus', because on routes like that, if one bus encounters delays, the bus only a few minutes behind will encounter the same delays, but its also not uncommon to be asked to wait mid journey.

It generally works well in Central London, when routes are as frequent as every couple of minutes, the passenger is not aware a bus could be 10 or 20 minutes late, or even more in some cases, as long as the service is every couple of minutes. Its a similar system to what is used on tube trains I believe.

So in the case of your 55, that most likely means the bus in front was late, and your bus was being held to even out the gaps in the service, although for a 6 minute frequency route to get 10 minutes behind its headway position is not very common, normally they're held once they drift out by a couple of minutes.
 

Ddogb

[CU] - JTR
617
3,467
Some of the cost cutting measures such as the congestion charge extension were Khan's idea. Theres a good interview with Piers Morgan where Khan admits the government told him to save money but it was up to him how. He chose the congestion increase, and a number of other measures which is where the blame comes from.

With the zip oyster in general, its not needed. Not done away with but replaced with a more suitable scheme. There's no need for childrens train travel to be 75p regardless of distance, however discounted or free bus travel is needed where walking is perhaps not an option. This is what a lot of the rest of the country sees in its place. I paid a £10 deposit for my Zip card 8 or so years ago, I certainly used a couple of thousand pounds worth of transport (a lot of it leisure), which wasn't exactly needed.
I would be fine for a yearly charge, like £50 a year for a zip seems fair to me and would be better than time restrictions that some people suggest. TFL definitely needs to look at the fair system and frankly the whole operation...

We have a decent system, I believe it is still one of the best in the world but it is in need of a "revamp" for lack of a better term. Every aspect needs to be picked apart and improvements/changes where it will improve both TFL finances & Passengers satisfaction
 
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BKG93

BKG Studios
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I would be fine for a yearly charge, like £50 a year for a zip seems fair to me and would be better than time restrictions that some people suggest. TFL definitely needs to look at the fair system and frankly the whole operation...

We have a decent system, I believe it is still one of the best in the world but it is in need of a "revamp" for lack of a better term. Every aspect needs to be picked apart and improvements/changes where it will improve both TFL finances & Passengers satisfaction
In fairness, I think the operation of the buses in London is fairly good. Most of the time the service provided is a decent standard, not always perfect but generally you get where you want to go fairly easily. However yeah I agree the fare system, especially considering their current financing situation definitely need to be reviewed.

As for a £50 charge, well considering most parts of the country offer child fares at half the adult rate, and there is 195 days (roughly) in a school year, a child essentially uses about £150 of bus fares per year for school travel, not to mention leisure travel.

At the same time, with vaguely 1.8 million child zip cards out there, even if only half opted to pay £50 a year, that's still £45 million pound a year extra revenue, and certainly well below the £150+ that it would cost with conventional child fares so I think there's a market there for that. They could also extend the Zip card in a similar fashion to free school meals, those on low income receive it free like normal, they'd still make a significant revenue increase per year which is something they desperately need. I think that's a workable solution, just a shame Khan can't seem to come up with a decent workable solution for himself xD
 

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thegamer7893

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It seams to be that we have a lot of uneducated people working for TFL who don't give a s--t about the people using the transport network and often only care about their own bank accounts

Also out of curious, (with a justifiable reason) why have 50% of the votes said no to wanting buses being controlled by one operator?
 
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Ddogb

[CU] - JTR
617
3,467
It seams to be that we have a lot of uneducated people working for TFL who don't give a s--t about the people using the transport network and often only care about their own bank accounts

Also out of curious, (with a justifiable reason) why have 50% of the votes said no to wanting buses being controlled by one operator?
well, it is not like that, TFL makes no profit per-say any profit goes back into the network.

They have had a big deficit for while and needed to fix that witch the current mayor and TFL have really improved (by 75% iirc) that situation pre-COVID, now we are in a situation where cutting costs is a must to keep the lights on. I am personally surprised we have a network that even with COVID, drop-in usage & the gov's vendetta against the mayor of London we have kept a decently operating service and that's not done by people "lining their pockets with cash" so to speak.
 

Networker88

Member
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I'm relatively new to posting on here, but I've been reading this thread from time to time, and feel like wading in with my opinion. In my opinion, the idea of London's bus service being run by one operator would lead to even more problems than we have now.

There are ultimately 4 ways of operating services in London:

1. A full monopoly run by Transport for London in house. This would be the same as was between 1933 & the mid 1980s. There could be some cost savings here, and many are in favour of public services being run by the public sector (no public money going into private hands). Whilst many do look back at these times with rose-tinted nostalgia, London Transport did have huge problems throughout these times, ranging from constant staffing issues to large fleets of unreliable buses to plummeting passenger numbers and spiralling costs. The bigger the organisation, the more these issues impact across the network; and those that suffer the most are the fare paying passengers. The political solution here was privatisation, although this isn't without flaws.

2. Deregulation. This is what we have in the rest of the country. Buses are a commercial enterprise, if a route doesn't make a profit, withdraw it unless the local council want to stump up some money for it. If a route is popular, then any operator can have a go. A bus war being fought out on London's streets would be a nightmare, and again we wouldn't have a satisfied public. No integrated ticketing system, fares going up at the whim of the operator and routes constantly changing to meet commercial demand.

3. The current system. This is probably the best of both the above. Operators are rewarded for good performance by keeping and gaining contracts; punished for bad performance by losing contracts. The operators need to make a profit and they cannot charge ridiculous prices as they'll lose out to a lower bidder, the only incentive they have is to run the service as told to. A diverse set of operators means diverse fleets (so if one type of vehicle suffers reliability issues, replacements can be sought quickly). Operators can find it a lot easier to get of poor drivers through redundancy if contracts are lost, and can set competitive pay rates to attract better drivers. The passengers get routes and fares decided by TFL, the bus companies get paid to provide the service. Obviously, there are imperfections in the monitoring of performance, but the principle behind this is probably the best option.

4. The option suggested about handing it all to one company. In my opinion, this the worst of all. Route not running reliably? Tough. Bus driver feels they aren't getting paid enough? Tough, he can't go to another operator. You essentially get all the problems London Transport had, with all the money going to a private operator who can charge whatever they like as they'll have the monopoly.

That's my brief opinion on who should be running services. On fares and money etc, I think TFL were banking on Crossrail to get the books back in shape, but I really do think something has to be done in short term just to get some sort of revenue in. Probably showing my age a bit here, but back in my day, a child fare was just 40p compared with £1 for adults, with child bus passes priced at £4 a week (this was for an all-zones pass). However, the local boroughs also provided free bus passes to those who received free school meals. Child fares set at 75p (with means-tested free fares for those who cannot afford it) would not be so unreasonable, I think its only fair that those using public transport make a financial contribution towards the running cost of the service.
 

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