Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

97 per cent satisfaction rating – and better than the train or the car

9 Feb 2017 by Matt Harrison

SATISFACTION REDEFINED! HAPPY PASSENGERS GIVE GROUNDBREAKING 36 BUS A BIG THUMBS UP

Happy passengers have given a huge thumbs up to the 36, Yorkshire’s famous top of the range bus service linking Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds, in the first test of customer satisfaction since a £3.3million relaunch.

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The Harrogate Bus Company launched the 36 with the brand identity Riding: Redefined a year ago this month, following a £3.3 million investment in 14 amazing new twin-deck buses by parent company Transdev. The vehicles were built to a luxury specification, featuring quilted leather seats, free superfast Wi-Fi, USB power points at every seat, and even a glazed panoramic roof for sky and star gazing.

The company asked passengers for their views on the route – what they like, and what could be better.

The results are now in - and they’ve produced an overwhelmingly positive set of scores for the groundbreaking service, including:

·        An amazing 97 per cent customer satisfaction rate

·        Over three quarters of customers say the 36 is a better option than driving or taking the train

·        More than half (56 per cent) of the 36’s customers could have used their cars, but chose the bus instead – making the bus a great way to cut road congestion and pollution

·        Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of customers couldn’t name anything they’d want to see improved on the 36 – and 70 per cent couldn’t name anything they disliked

·        Over half of customers surveyed choose the 36 at least twice a week

The Harrogate Bus Company General Manager Keith Roebuck said: “We’re very encouraged by these results, which show an amazing 97 per cent customer satisfaction rating for the 36 in the first year since its relaunch.

“The 36 offers sumptuous seats, more leg-room and the technology to be connected on the move. We provide a comfortable, frequent and friendly service and the highest quality at best value for money fares.

“We know that our regular customers love the 36, and these outstanding results show how popular it really is – and that it’s winning more and more new customers who prefer it to taking the train or driving,

“These are very encouraging results, but for us they are only the beginning. Our whole team on the buses and behind the scenes is working hard to make the 36 even better in year two.”

Even though customers using the 36 weren’t directly asked to say why they like it so much, many did – just some of the comments received:

·        “I adore the 36”

·        “99 per cent of your drivers are so nice and caring and helpful”

·        “My experience is of first class service! It has never gone wrong on my trips”

·        “P.S. your drivers are lovely!”

·        “You’re the best service I use”

·        “Name one thing you don’t like about the 36? I can’t!”

The survey found 77 per cent of the 36’s passengers don’t ever use the train – and no wonder, with a monthly Harrogate to Leeds rail season ticket costing £152.10, 52 per cent more expensive than the Gold monthly pass at just £100, valid on the 36 and alln  other Transdev buses across a huge area of Yorkshire and Lancashire, from Preston and Manchester to the Yorkshire Coast.

The results also showed that 15 per cent of those asked had begun using the 36 in the last year, with four per cent of those asked using it for the first time that day, indicating strong potential for the bus to win more new passengers from the train and the car.

Passengers on the 36 gave it high marks for quality, including its high tech, comfortable buses, cleanliness inside and out, and its friendly drivers.

Image shows:

36 drivers, Sandra Fernandes and Bijumon George and a 36 bus at Harrogate Bus Station

Media contact:

For further information, please contact Ben Mansfield or Matt Harrison at The Harrogate Bus Company: 01423 884131 or email: ben.mansfield@transdevplc.co.uk