Buses are the most popular form of public transport in Scotland, accounting for 77% of public transport journeys. Increasing the proportion of journeys taken by bus rather than by car can reduce road congestion, as well as the emission of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants.

This policy note explores how users perceive quality of bus services in Scotland. It provides insights into how the experience of taking a bus in Scotland may be improved for users in in order to encourage further bus patronage.  The key findings include:

  • Service convenience – frequency and regularity - is the most important issue when existing bus users consider how satisfied they are.
  • Targeting service improvements in relation to frequency, availability, reliability and stability will likely generate the highest returns to investment relating to the perceived satisfaction of existing bus users.
  • The comfort and cleanliness of the bus and the ease of use of the service are still significant in user evaluations of the service, they tend to be of secondary importance