Transport operators must listen to passengers

15 August 2018


A few jaws dropped when news filtered through about planned rail fare increases that could take effect in January 2019. With so much disruption to services this year, more so than ever transport operators must listen to customers to win their trust.

The national media are not giving UK train operators an easy ride!

TBM offers solutions that have an immediate impact on passengers – better electric charging points, cleaner seat covers and germ-resistant grab handles… amongst many other services.

Where some aspects of running modern railways will always attract criticism, we help operators give passengers the best possible carriage conditions each time they catch a train.

Why are train ticket prices rising?

The planned price hikes are not driven by the individual train operating companies (TOCs). They are linked to the UK’s retail prices index (RPI) that measures inflationary pressures in the economy.

For some time many observers have called for the annual rises to be pegged to the consumer prices index (CPI), that measures rises in wages. That, many think, would be much fairer. If pay doesn’t go up, the price of rail travel should not go up either.

However, the increases that are introduced each year are in place to drive investment in the nation’s railways. That’s all well and good, but for travelling passengers who see services cancelled each day - and trains delayed - that’s little comfort.

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Rail passenger satisfaction

The most recent evidence of customer dissatisfaction follows a report from consumer group Which? Analysis they conducted tracking ten years of Transport Focus data (article HERE) concluded that passenger satisfaction has stagnated across the last decade.

Is that harsh, too influenced by recent events, delays and strikes?

Unfortunately, the numbers presented by Which? echo those of recent statistics revealed by Transport Focus in their June report earlier this year.

The survey of 50,000 rail users showed that overall satisfaction with value for money was as low as 27% on one route. Punctuality scored a low of 49%, while train crowding recorded a satisfaction score of 56% for one operator.

Not good, and it’s obvious that the UK’s train companies have plenty to do if they are to keep attracting paying customers.    

Transport operators can do better

TBM has worked in close partnership with most of the country’s train operators and we see first hand how hard rail professionals work to deliver great passenger services.

But when timetable changes falter, new rolling stock arrivals are delayed, and there are teething problems with high-tech solutions, it creates the perfect passenger storm.

It’s not hard to see why the travelling public becomes increasingly frustrated.

The services TBM offers were established to improve passenger comfort based on personal experiences using the country’s rail services. We use the railways like everyone else.

While some elements of daily rail travel are beyond the control of individual operators, ensuring that all other aspects of the experience are good or better is something that TBM can help TOCs achieve.

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What does TBM offer rail operators?

Take seating. Nobody wants to see dirty or unhygienic seat covers. We clean them, thoroughly, and some operators are now building this fast turnaround service into monthly maintenance plans.

Poorly serviced toilets is something else that can leave passengers fuming. Quite right too. On long, busy journeys facilities in good working order are the least a customer can expect.

TBM assesses, services, cleans and maintains train toilet systems and the pipes and tanks that connect them. We empty tanks onsite using our large capacity bowsers, or overhaul them back at the TBM depot in Cheshire.

We offer much more. Through a range of industry-approved partners, TBM sources and installs electric charge points, easy-to-use door sensors, antimicrobial grab handles and efficient washroom facilities. We work hard to make things better for passengers.

We’re here to support TOCs that want to deliver the highest possible standards for passengers when they commute or make leisure journeys.

Call 0844 800 8577 or email [email protected] for further details about the services we can supply.

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