1. Home
  2. Passenger Transport

Passenger Transport

Helping Local Authorities dramatically improve the cost and effectiveness of their passenger transport services.

What do we mean by?

Education Transport

  • Special Educational Needs – transport arranged for passengers with moderate to high needs usually in receipt of an Education, Health & Care Plan, usually in taxis, minibuses and wheelchair accessible vehicles
  • Mainstream – transport arranged for school attenders of all ages usually in small buses, large buses and on the public transport network

Social Care Transport

  • Looked After Children – transport other than for education purposes provided for children who are fostered or looked after by the Council which may be for contact visitation or other purposes
  • Respite – transport for children usually with special needs to and from respite centres and usually overnight or at weekends
  • Adult clients – transport for adult social care clients either with a disability or because of their age usually to day centres, activity centres or community activities

Community Transport

  • Transport provided by community transport organisations or by the Council usually on a ‘not for profit’ or social enterprise basis and sometimes underpinned by Council grants
  • Transport provided may be for a number of purposes but will usually be for cases of social, physical or geographical isolation but also increasingly underpinned by commercial activity

Commercial bus network

  • Transport provided via the local bus network
  • Primarily this will be where some form of subsidisation is given by the Council for services provided which otherwise would not be profitable for the bus company to run

Staff Travel

  • Travel undertaken by Council staff in their own vehicles for which a mileage rate and / or an essential user rate is offered
  • Travel undertaken in pool or hire vehicles whilst on Council business

What do we do?

Review Policy

  • Review home to school transport eligibility policies and ascertain potential to change and move to an emphasis on travel assistance rather than transport
  • Review social care policies concerning eligibility to transport and propose new policy where they do not exist, move to an emphasis on travel assistance rather than transport
  • Review bus subsidy policy including strategic fit with Council priorities, does the policy support provision of transport at the times and places and at the cost that the Council requires?
  • Review or suggest a staff travel policy to require that the most appropriate form of transport is used for any given situation

Manage Demand

  • Particularly for education and social care understand whether the existing eligibility policies are being fully adhered to
  • Do all stakeholders in the process understand the eligibility criteria and more importantly understand the costs involved in agreeing eligibility
  • Manage the process of eligibility review and appeal effectively

Innovative fulfilment

  • Offer travel assistance rather than just transport
  • All forms of assistance with travelling should be considered including, travel training for walking, bus or train travel, cycle schemes and walking buses and where economically viable personal transport budgets before consideration of more expensive forms of transport
  • For staff travel ensure that pool or hire cars are available for journeys where it makes economic sense to use them

Improve routing and logistics

Where the Council provides transport:


  • Undertake a fundamental review of the logistical effectiveness of those routes taking account of the special nature of the passengers
  • Consult and communicate changes and implement a new set of more logical routes where amalgamations of certain routes and tender of new routes will be necessary

Manage costs of supply

  • Where the initial review recognises that costs per passenger are too high, move to a new and innovative procurement method, igniting interest in the whole marketplace and ensuring very effective competition
  • Bulk purchase pool cars and hire car capacity to obtain best price

Integrate structures

  • Bringing together transport delivery functions in to a coherent integrated transport unit with full overview of all internal and external resources and all transport requirements across times of the day and days of the week
  • Understand the extent to which any internal resources can assist in getting better value for money from bus subsidy budget
  • Encourage community transport to become more commercial instead of relying on grant monies
  • Manage pool cars and pool car booking, understanding demand profile and potential for use across the rest of the transport operation
  • Introduce IT systems that underpin delivery

Create Sustainability

  • Throughout all of this work alongside the transport team(s), coaching, mentoring and demonstrating by experience to develop staff effectively
  • Recognise and develop particularly talented individuals
  • Ensure processes are documented and understood
  • Formalise team communications
  • Introduce a culture of performance and cost consciousness
  • Underpin with adequate and regular training programmes
image description

Helping Local Authorities dramatically improve the cost and effectiveness of their passenger transport services.

Read more

image description

Front-line services are where most of your cost lies, typically in people, equipment and assets.

Read more

image description

Some activities don’t naturally belong to one Directorate or could be quite dispersed and operating in many separate places across your organisation.

Read more