Page 3: Why bring the Yellow Bus to the UK
First decided to introduce the Yellow Bus service here because:
- The adverse environmental impact of the school run, in terms of congestion and pollution had been identified by the government leading to a clear need for a high quality home to school transport service in the UK
- First was able to combine its US experience of running successful Yellow Bus services with a nationwide network of bus operations in the UK to offer the same high quality service here.
Before going ahead with a new venture, organisations need to assess the business environment. A useful framework for doing this is a PEST analysis. This examines the political, economic, social and technological factors that make up the business environment and indicates just how favourable they are.
First's detailed analysis provided strong support for developing Yellow Bus in the UK. The political climate is right. Currently parents' school runs in cars account for around 20of urban morning rush hour congestion. The government wants to cut traffic congestion and to see the number of car journeys to school reduced. Also, local authorities are seeking to develop partnerships with bus companies that can help them create integrated transport systems that reduce reliance on the car. This involves creating bus lanes, providing better buses, introducing more convenient ticketing arrangements, planning better routes and frequencies, and operating a customer-friendly service.
Social attitudes in the UK are changing as people become more aware of the environmental damage caused by over-reliance on the car. In the UK, bus travel has experienced 40 years of decline, but there are signs that the market is picking up.
Parents, however, have been reluctant to change the way that they transport their children to school because of the perceived safety of the door-to-door nature of the car journey. However, buses are much safer than cars and the yellow school bus is designed to be one of the safest vehicles in passenger service. Recent official surveys showed that parents who drive their children to school would consider switching to a high quality school bus service. So there is a clear opportunity for the Yellow Bus, which can provide an integrated school transport system that will:
- ease congestion, improve air quality, speed traffic flows and promote public transport
- reduce child road accidents
- create a more secure environment for travel and enable children to become more independent
- provide a disciplined start to the school day that also provides early warnings about truancy
- help parents by accepting responsibility for taking children safely to school
- support the transport aims of local government.