This week is Catch the Bus Week – an annual event to put the bus in the spotlight and celebrate its unique importance to everyday life.
Every day (morning, noon and night) our buses take thousands of people across Dundee to work, education and the shops – all of which adds up to a massive boon to the economy.
Research by Greener Journeys estimates that every £1 invested in bus travel yields £7 in return. With those odds, why wouldn’t you bet on the bus?
We keep the city going and growing. Access to our network of fast, frequent services enables Dundonians to get out and stimulate the city’s prosperity – with almost a third of spending in City Centres across the country coming from bus users. There are many types of people who travel by bus for many reasons, but the single biggest group is shoppers – making up 26% of all trips. And buses are the most popular means of accessing City Centres – not least because they help passengers save money and the hassle of finding a parking space. Every time you jump on the bus to nip to the supermarket or to visit the Overgate, this adds up and contributes £27 billion to the national economy every year.
In addition to transporting shoppers, our buses carry thousands of commuters to work (and back home again when the day is done). Public transport sustains the employment of many people, including 400,000 across the UK who would be forced to find another job if their bus service ceased running – which works out at just under 1,000 people right here in Dundee. Buses also assist the process of securing work to begin with, given that more than three quarters of jobseekers have no access to a car to get them to interviews or training sessions.
We aim to help organisations – large and small – by connecting them with customers and employees alike. For example, we work closely with the Pensions Office at Jack Martin Way to ensure that the timetable for service 32a is suitably co-ordinated to match the staff’s flexible shift patterns. Other services have also been specially designed to maximise access to locations such as the Technology Park and the Tesco Call Centre.
Of course, it’s not just the passengers who benefit from easy access to work. The day-to-day operations of Xplore Dundee are a team effort – and a big team at that. We employ approximately 330 staff across our driving, engineering and administration teams. In 2015, National Express became the first private transport company in the UK to be accredited as a living wage employer. One of our core values is investing in our people, because we recognise that any business’ workforce is its greatest asset.
Dundee’s local economy is up-and-coming, with major projects across the city and at the Waterfront really beginning to take shape. As the main bus operator, we are proud to play a major role in that effort, and we are proud to be a leading member of the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce.