It is hard to see any of this offering a tangible benefit to passengers.
One opportunity that "working together" might bring, you would have thought, is better quality publicity. The main protagonists in the deal can, when they put their minds to it, print some very attractive leaflets.
Here is Stagecoach's offering from Cranbrook, a "new town" development for Exeter.
Here is a Stagecoach leaflet for the service between Sheffield and Eckington.
Here is a Stagecoach leaflet for the 265 Sheffield to Barnsley route; apparently not par of the Sheffield or the Barnsley Partnerships.
Now, this is also a Stagecoach leaflet for the X19.
And this is also a Stagecoach leaflet.
It contains some really silly information. The heading says the buses run to Bents Green (they do) but the timetable says they terminate at Brincliffe, about a mile and a quarter short of the terminus.
fbb as repeatedly reported this nonsense to Stagecoach and the PTE. A very senior Stagecoach manager responded in an off-hand matter, "Oh, I thought they had sorted that out." They still haven't. The PTE man (a lesser minion) offered the feeble excuse that the PTE "had to publish what Stagecoach registered." It doesn't "have to"!
So far, then, in our trawl of the Partnership provision of publicity, we have FOUR Stagecoach leaflets in four very different shapes, sizes and styles.
Not to be outdone, here is a First Bus leaflet.
One bonus is that it does show the service as terminating at Sheffield interchange ...
And, to complete the collection, here is another A7 mini-leaflet.
Simply because this is a joint route but with both operators free to charge different fares for the same journey - and they do!
fbb has been invited to several meetings in Sheffield to discus publicity and, latterly, to promote GoTimetable Sheffield. At all these meetings, neither PTE nor operators have seen any major problem with printed or on-line publicity. Promised "improvements" have never happened.
Indeed, one of our Sheffield correspondents writes thus:-
(a) It seems to be standard practice, now, to have printed leaflets available after the services have changed and never before.
(b) Once initial stocks are exhausted (usually after just a few days) nothing is available.
(c) Some of the timetables in the leaflets are wholly misleading, especially where "repeat patterns" are given. The 83a, for example has a six minute variation hidden within at "at the same times each hour" panel.
fbb does not usually deal in rumours but the word on the street in Sheffield is that, whilst the Partnership has improved First Bus' profitability, Stagecoach is still struggling within the city. Will any of our readers be placing bets on the survival of the cosy (?) relationship?
fbb reckons the Sheffield Partnership will collapse before then end of 2018.
Tomorrow, we take a look at a Sheffield bus leaflet that shouts quality and reliability. It doesn't even mention "partnership"!
Next right image blog : Wednesday 22nd March