This is an email I sent out tonight to twenty people who work in the public sector (or are interested parties) in Northern Ireland:
Sorry for the anonymous email.
Thought this might be of interest considering the difficulties we have had getting route and timetable data out of Translink. Three years later and we’ve still not managed it.
Considering the support Translink gets and the ever-increasing fares (coupled with increasingly empty buses), it seems reasonable to assume that full buses are more valuable to the economy than the poor system we have in place. It would be possible to monetise the service through advertising (we have tried to communicate options for this to Translink with, as usual, no response).
The benefits of free public transport would mean, inevitably, reduced congestion on the roads across the province. If anyone can provide me with information on the subvention or the numbers of actual passengers and/or tickets sold in conjunction with passenger and bus numbers out on the network, I’d be very appreciative.
It’s a real vision of the future to make transport across the province free of charge. A bit like making sure we have free WiFi at every tourist location (especially areas of the country like Donaghadee which is badly served by mobile carriers).
Please pass this on to interested colleagues or by confidentially suggesting other folk who may be interested.
At the very least, it would make a great gesture to make every bus in and around Derry free for the whole of 2013.