Bus services during Corona virus epidemic, and beyond?
Coronavirus continues to effect us all and how we go about our everyday lives. It has also effected the way people use buses, ultimately less people are using them.
Short term, although buses are sometimes empty, operations continue pretty much as normal, largely thanks to funding from the govenment and councils.
The big question is how long will or can this continue for?
It now looks likely that we will be under some sort of lock down, or restrictions until spring 2021, so passenger numbers are not likely to improve much until then.
Even when restriction are lifted and more people travel again this may not be enough to make many services viable again,
without drastic cuts to frequencies or cutting off peak services, both of which result in further decline in usage.
Will the only way forward be to have some sort of tendered network of services, where operators work together to provide an easy to use transport system in return for a slice of the profit?
This may be the only way to maintain a good, or even better level of service. Time will tell.
What is for certain is that the way people want and need to travel has changed. Services need to change to meet these needs, and work, or perhaps an incentive,
will be needed to encourage people to use them again. Just as people have been persuaded to avoid public transport, they can be persuaded to use it again.
Arriva Derby: Nearly all services back to pre Covid timetables from Monday 10th August. Exceptions are service 3 which remains suspended, and a reduced frequency on service F1 - see arriva.co.uk.
Trent Barton: Nearly all services back to normal, without late night buses on most services. Sixes and comet still on reduced timetables. (7/10/20)
PLEASE HEED THE GOVERNMENTS ADVICE, WEAR A MASK WHEN USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT, COVERING YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH.
Electric buses for Derby?
Derby City Council are looking into introducing a new electric bus rapid transit system connecting some key places within the city area.
They are bidding for some money for this, with the consultation due to be complete by June 2021. See above for the councils article on this.
Other mooted schemes announced in the past have come to nothing - remember the electric buses trent were getting funding for a year or so ago, and the new park and ride sites -
these schemes seem to have been shelved long before covid 19 had any impact.