Improving Edinburgh’s Buses
Single tickets should be valid when changing bus — All single bus fares should be valid when getting on any bus within 1 hour of buying the ticket. This means that a single ticket can be used when making a journey that involves a change of bus.
Tickets should be valid for all public transport — All tickets should be valid for all bus companies, the Edinburgh tram, and all rail travel within Edinburgh. So if you buy a day ticket, you’d be able to use it for both Lothian and First buses; no more extra waiting because the ticket you’ve got isn’t for the right bus company!
All bus stops should contain a bus route map, for all bus companies that use that stop. This is a simple change, that would cost little to implement, but greatly improve the ease of using the service.
Bicycle Sharing Scheme
Edinburgh needs a city bicycle sharing scheme like London and Paris have. Edinburgh is hilly, so the bikes should have electric motors, to give riders an extra boost when going uphill.
The bicycle docking stations should be integrated with other transport: at railway stations, tram stops, park-and-ride facilities, and along main bus routes. In the city center, docking stations should be close together, so you’re never far from the nearest one.
If Edinburgh Council did all this, we’d have an integrated transport system allowing Edinburghers to travel across town quickly, cheaply, efficiently, and without causing much pollution. Visitors would also benefit, boosting Edinburgh as a tourist destination. To make the system even more efficient, new high-density public housing should be built near railway lines, tram stops and major bus routes.
Edinburgh South Suburban Railway
Edinburgh should seriously consider re-opening the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway to passenger services (see Capital Rail Action Group)
Taxibus: the service of a taxi, at the cost of a bus
In the long term, Edinburgh needs a taxibus service. A taxibus is a cross between a taxi and a bus; it’s a minibus carrying 12 or so passengers, and works like this: To use a taxibus, you get out your smartphone and tell it where you want to go. The computer at the taxibus control center calculates the optimum route of all taxibuses in service, and tells each driver where to go and what route to take. It does this continually, in real time. Your smartphone gives you a continuously updated log of how long your taxibus will take to arrive. The computerised system automatically charges you for the ride, so when you get on the taxibus, no time is wasted paying a fare. During your journey, other passengers leave or join the bus; their journeys have been computer-controlled like yours. In this way, a taxibus gives you the service of a taxi with the cost of a bus. See the Intelligent Grouping Transportation website for more details on how it would work.
Stop Edinburgh Airport Drop-off Charge
Edinburgh airport’s plan for a £1 drop-off charge is a petty and mean-spirited rip off. What impression of Edinburgh does it give to visitors? This charge should not be allowed to happen.