Tuesday 30 October 2012

North East Bus Operators Association (NEBOA) have issued details of what they are offering in a Quality Partnership.

A summary has been published on their website which includes the following

• The public and private sector join forces to focus on the interests
of bus users, potential users and the people of Tyne and Wear
• Better value for money through cheaper fares for thousands of bus
users and savings in public expenditure, avoiding the costs and
risks that quality contracts create
• A simple approach to improving the overall customer experience
• A clear structure for proposing improvements and changes to the
bus network
• securing improvements in local services of benefit to local users of
local services.

Nexus and the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority are also considering the benefits of a quality contract scheme within Tyne and Wear.
The North East Bus Operators say that a quality contract scheme would take at least two years to implement and incur set up costs totalling £2.5 million.

 Hybrids in Newcastle

A partnership agreement will produce immediate benefits for bus
users – guaranteed cheaper fares for thousands of bus users, savings
of a quarter of a million pounds for the ITA in the first year alone and
a stable bus network.

One idea being offered by North East Bus Operators is ‘bus-to-bus’ tickets, designed to meet the needs of people who travel on the buses of more than one operator but not Metro.

During 2012, the House of Commons select committee on transport undertook an inquiry into local buses. Amongst its findings, the select committee called on the government and the Office of Fair Trading to back Partnerships not Contracts.
The select committee also acknowledged that quality contract schemes are fraught with risks.
Not least among the risks is cost. Nexus has already spent £600,000 of public money in considering a quality contract scheme. The scheme would cost up to a further £1.9 million to establish and have on-going administrative costs of £1 million per year. A quality contract scheme is unlikely to be implemented before April 2015 at the earliest and it is not even clear that the proposed scheme can deliver what it promises or will continue to be affordable.
Conversely, a partnership agreement could be implemented two years earlier, in April 2013, avoiding £1.9 million of public spending and starting to achieve significant passenger benefits and savings for local taxpayers.

More details can be found on http://www.northeastbus.org/downloads/click.php?id=3