As we come up to the end of our first year in operation it is time to reflect on our successes and look ahead to our future developments.
Since we started delivering services on the 8th May 2017 we have delivered over 5000 free journeys to concessionary card holders. We have also delivered over 600 journeys to our fare paying passengers. We have contributed to tourism in the area by delivering walking groups to Blackness to start walks on the John Muir Way, visitors to Blackness Castle, the Bo’ness Steam Railway and Museum, the Hippodrome, Kinneil House and the Motor Museum; all of whom are also sponsors for the Bus and we carry their advertising on both Buses.
We would like to take this opportunity of thanking those individuals who have made donations either via bus collection or individually. You have supplemented our income by over £2500 which, when supplemented by gift aid, comes to an amazing £3000.
Achieving a Bus Services Operators Licence is something that has been forced upon us by proposed changes to the way the Department of Transport allows Charities to operate bus services. As your trustees, we considered that the constraints that Charites will face would be too difficult to run the services that we currently operate, and despite the severe financial implications, we opted to pursue that route. I am happy to announce that we are in the final stages of our application for an ‘O’ licence which will allow us to make big changes in the way we are organised and the services we can provide.
We would also like to thank our funders who have shown confidence in our ability to run our own Bus service and have made available much of the funding required to make these changes possible. However, funders also require assurances that money is spent on the specific tasks or reasons for its granting, and all of them want to ensure that the services are sustainable.
To guarantee that, we have set specific targets and these are set out below:
1. Building passenger numbers on the Bo’ness to Edinburgh route
• To get sustainable numbers means, to put it crudely, getting more bums on seats.
• Although we have many regular passengers, we also have a lot of room for more. We must encourage those who have supported us to get their friends on board.
• We have a target of raising our concessionary takings by £500 per month by July. This equates to 150 additional journeys a month, 36 per week, or 6 a day; which is only another 3 returns – a highly achievable number.
• Our target for fare paying passengers is £700 per month, which we could achieve with a modest increase in numbers.
The operator’s licence removes the restriction on ‘members only’ Hires and allows us a more general Hire policy. Although we are limited by actual operations and leasing mileage limitations, we have a modest target of achieving £500 per month through hires.
3. Public Service Contracts
The biggest opportunity is in a field that had formerly denied us the ability to tender for public Service contracts. This would provide a real opportunity for expansion. It would open us up to being able to tender for Schools Contracts and subsidised schedule routes. This would open a significant revenue source to us and enable us to examine innovative ways of extending bus services in Bo’ness.
Busey McBusFace Competition FANCY WINNING £300? Manual Entry will be available by 11th May on the Bus or in the Bo’ness Library, Blackness Shop, Bo’ness LIDL and Tesco at Bo’ness and Linlithgow and will run until 25th May.