Inspired by a recent trip to France and Switzerland, where public transport was plentiful and information clear and readily available, I’m increasingly of the view that we as an industry – working with our local authority partners – need to develop some national standards for wayfinding.
I’m talking about the way in which information is presented that allows intending customers to work out how to make a particular journey, understanding what they need to do (and where they need to go) at each step of the way to make sure they complete their journey and want to come back for more.
It's a science that hides behind terms such as ‘publicity’ and ‘marketing’. But this kind of language creates the notion of it being an optional extra. In reality, the ability of an intending customer to understand how to use our products and then find their way through the system is crucial to generating more patronage.
It’s clear that one of the biggest inhibitors to people trying public transport is not knowing where to start – how to even begin to find the information they need. As soon as they need to do lots of research, they’ll just give up and book an Uber.