As the UK considers changes to transport policy, attention is turning to how Jersey successfully tendered its bus service. HCT Group, the organisation behind LibertyBus, has just published an account of ‘the Jersey Model’ for UK policymakers.
Jersey’s approach to commissioning its bus service has started to make waves in the United Kingdom. The UK is set to change how its bus services outside London operate, giving communities greater powers to franchise their bus services to meet local needs – something Jersey has been doing for years. As interest in Jersey’s approach has increased, HCT Group, the parent of LibertyBus, has published an account of ‘the Jersey Model’ for policy makers in the UK, with support from the Department for Infrastructure.
Dai Powell, HCT Group Chief Executive, explains “As new transport legislation approaches in the UK, Authorities are increasingly inviting us to talk about our experience of working in a franchise environment. However, we think our best answer is not to tell our own story, but to tell that of the States – which is why we’ve released the publication. It’s a real Jersey success story.
“We hope that policy makers can learn from Jersey’s approach, using it to develop their own ideas that are right for their own localities as they gain new powers.”
Jersey has seen impressive results from its franchising process. There has been an increase in ridership of 32% since 2013 – when LibertyBus took over the service. There has also been an increase in customer satisfaction and the development of a real partnership between the States and their operator.
John Rogers, Chief Officer, Department for Infrastructure at the States of Jersey, said “We’ve received a lot of interest in the Jersey Model of bus franchising from the UK, with visits from transport strategists, Local Authorities – even a Westminster think tank – all wanting to understand how it works here.
“We developed an approach that enabled us to really meet the needs of Jersey and are proud of what we have achieved. We are happy to share what we have learned with commissioners in the UK and have supported HCT Group to tell our story.”
The report entitled ‘Practical Bus Franchising - The Jersey Model’ describes step-by-step how Jersey used a version of bus franchising to reach their goals of increased ridership, lower costs, modal shift, innovation and partnership-working with their operator. The publication has been developed through detailed interviews with the people involved in the franchising process at the States, who shared their perspective.