Good bus passenger information is considered vital to the successful operation of bus services and in maintaining or stimulating public transport demand. However, there is considerable uncertainty as to the relative cost-effectiveness of different methods of providing information, and what are the optimal combinations of methods, and optimal expenditure levels. Debate on these topics has been stimulated in recent years following bus deregulation, which has led to more rapidly changing patterns of bus services, with opportunities for new methods using advanced technology. The objectives of this study were to review the provision and use of bus passenger information, assess its usefulness to the travelling public and its effect on public transport demand, and to identify deficiencies and suggest possibilities for improvement. Surveys were conducted in four study areas - Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Hertfordshire and North Yorkshire - with contrasting levels and patterns of public transport services and approaches to passenger information provision. The surveys revealed the kinds of information different types of passengers need, how they obtain it, how often they use it, and how well they understand it. Alternative forms of information, designed to make good some of the current deficiencies, were tested. (A)

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