Thursday 24 May 2012

The Boggart goes by Bus [2]

[First Bus press release issued yesterday, 23rd May]
Eclipse buses carry 100,000th passenger
Less than a month after buses started running on the new Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network in Gosport and Fareham, data from the on board ticket machines has shown that more than 100,000 people have travelled on the new routes. The 100,000th passenger travelled on the bus on Thursday 17 May; ahead of expectations.

While it is still too early to assess the true impact on the nearby congested A32, which connects Gosport and Fareham, data from First Hampshire and Dorset suggests that as there has been an overall increase in bus use in the area, it would appear some people are making the move from car to bus for travel between the two towns.
Seen recently in York Station
So, lads, be prepared to queue;
there's only one!
Back to the blog:-

Competition, Collusion or Collapse at Rochdale : part two

Yesterday we left First Bus as the sole operator of Manchester route 17, successors to a historic and long-tern operation by Manchester and Rochdale Corporations. In the last few years, competition has arrived in the persons of JPT.
JP Travel, sometimes known as JPT or Jpt Bus Company, is a bus company based at Middleton in Greater Manchester, England. The company is owned by Janet and Peter Walsh and runs local services in the North Manchester area. The JP in JP Travel forms the initials of their first names. The company entered the bus market in 1987. A small network of services began to form during the latter part of the 1980s under the name of "City Nippy".

The company has been one of the innovators in the use of social media, advertising a Facebook page at which customers can communicate with the operator. Buses carry a logo advising passengers to "become a fan of Jpt Bus Company" by joining the Facebook site.

Here, in addition to usual comment and advice, you can solve interesting little puzzles ...

What is odd about this paragraph?
Answer at the end of this blog.

... and even submit jokes:-
Boom, boom!

Publicity comes from Transport for Greater Manchester [TfGM] in the form of a "combined" timetable ...
... merging the services of both companies; actually all three companies because JPT also operates as Eurobus, competing with itself (?).
The main table in the TfGM leaflet does not attempt to detail departures, preferring to summarise the Monday to Saturday service as "at frequent intervals". JPT/Eurobus do not run on Sundays.
Oddly there is a second table in the leaflet for JPT/Eurobus only journeys ...
... but for First's unimpeded buses you have to go to their own web site. How did JPT manage to get this isolationist privilege?
Up to not long ago, competition was very much on price, with JPT offering a day ticket for just £2.80 ...
... set against First's £4.50. First, on the other hand, offers swish hybrid vehicles ...
... in puce and silver. So, at this stage it's First's quality versus JPT's price. But First are forging forward with fantastic features; one of which is, from mid May ...
... a deal which matches JPT's price.
Service 18, incidentally is wholly First's route, providing a five minute frequency between Manchester and Middleton. The 18 then serves the local Langley area.
The special offer from First has been received with some cynicism by whoever writes on JPT's facebook page ...
Local and anecdotal rumour [from a Manchester correspondent] suggests that JPT has not always operated in a "professional" manner at bus stops and, since the First price reduction, has countered by giving our tickets for free rides; hardly the best way to sustain their company's viability.

Is this the start of the price war? Which operator will crack first; First or JPT? Can First stand more pain than JPT? The "City" men in grey suits are not at all pleased with First's performance and want to see them make more money. It's a tough one, isn't it.

Until hostilities are replaced with some kind of (illegal) "deal" or retrenchment by the interloper, it's a huge bargain for Rochdale residents whichever company they use. Day return by bus to Manchester, £2.80. Day return by train, £3.90 off peak BUT a whopping £7.20 at Monday to Friday peak times. Journey time by bus 49 minutes; journey time by train 14 to 20 minutes. And First are offering network-wide availability at weekends. It's a tough one, isn't it.

How will it all end? Competition, Collusion or Collapse?
Answer to puzzle paragraph : it doesn't contain a letter "e". fbb (biged!) spotted it straight away.
And the boggart?
He is a mischievous little sprite who makes life difficult for all those who cross his cheeky little path. He works his malpractice in Boggart Hole Clough Park ...
... just off the main Rochdale Road. He probably travels on service 17 to get to work. Maybe he even has shares in JPT?
 Next blog : Friday May 25th 


  1. It's now £3.00 for a JPT daysaver.

  2. Connaire : thanks; I could not check as JPT's web site was not working whilst the blog was prepared!

  3. your site is very informative thank you
    bus ticketing machine!/ElitePalm Elite Palm™

  4. Can you please remove the Eclipse photograph. The photograph is copyrighted and belongs to myself.

  5. One more chance to remove the photograph or legal action will take place. It is illegal to use photographs without the permission of the owner or the appropriate rights. It is also illegal to remove or obscure watermarks which this photograph has.