Greener Journeys, a coalition of the nation’s biggest bus companies is trying to get the word out that people should be riding a bus and abandoning their vehicles. Three cities, Exeter, Norwich and Milton Keynes are launching the program in their cities to cut a billion car journeys by the year 2014 to reduce up to two million tons of CO2. They will be issuing free tickets for bus rides to persuade motorists to try the bus. The success of the program in these three cities will be reviewed before launching the campaign elsewhere across the nation.
Claire Haigh, the campaign director for the Greener Journeys coalition, said: “There are times when it really makes sense to use the bus, and that is the message we will be piloting in Exeter. We chose these three areas as they have really good bus services that could be used a lot more. Now let’s see if people are prepared to try it and give it a go.
“We recognize that many journeys need to be made by car, but there are some occasions when getting the bus makes sense. This could be to go into town to do shopping, heading to a restaurant or pub, or going to the cinema.
“For these trips, taking the bus means you don’t need to battle traffic, find parking and pay for it. Once people start using buses they find it is a lot more efficient and convenient than they realize.
“It is very much a promotions-led campaign and we will be carrying radio and press adverts as well as having posters on the sides of the bus.
“We will be conducting research in the three areas to measure the impact of the campaign over the first six weeks. The evaluation of this pilot research is important for us to learn what messages work, and what triggers people to shift their journeys.
“We will look at all of this before rolling out the campaign across the rest of the country.”
Not only will the campaign cut down on gas emmissions and help combat air pollution but it will give many a cheaper and more cost effective way to travel and commute to work. Greener Journeys will begin issuing the free bus tickets today and more information about the campaign can be found at their Web site: www.greenerjourneys.com.