Understanding Why Some People Do Not Use Buses

This research explores perceptions of bus services and barriers to use amongst people who do not use buses often, and looks at what might encourage them to use buses more in future.


1. Scottish Government (2009) Scottish bus and coach statistics

2. See for information about the concessionary travel scheme.

3. Note however that the extent to which issues can be explored in detail with each individual participant in a focus group is constrained by the need to keep the discussions to a reasonable length and avoid disrupting the flow of the group discussion.

4. One participant said they had never used a local bus, though they had used a bus abroad.

5. Given the timing of the groups (conducted in summer 2009), it was felt that Edinburgh should not be included, since the disruption to bus services associated with the Edinburgh tram works might mean that people's views were not representative of attitudes to buses in the city at other times.

6. Of the 91 focus group participants, 9 were from a minority ethnic background.

7. If recruiters experienced difficulties filling quotas, they were permitted to use their own contact details for people who had previously participated in research (and had consented to their details being held on file). These participants had to meet strict criteria set out in the recruitment questionnaire (including not having participated in any research in the previous 18 months). However, in practice recruiters indicated that the vast majority of participants were recruited on-street or door to door.

8. Note that although we did not set quotas on disability for the focus groups, disabled people were not excluded from participating in these. The focus group recruitment questionnaire did ask whether participants had any disability in order to ensure that any additional support needs they might have were met. However, none of the focus group participants identified themselves as having a disability.

9. This reflected the location of the Enable group we recruited through, as well as the location of eligible Scottish Household Survey respondents in the Central Belt/Aberdeen areas.

10. ScotCen's parent organisation.

11. Ritchie, J (et al) 'Carrying out Qualitative Analysis' in Jane Ritchie and Jane Lewis (Eds) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers, 2003, Sage Publications: London

12. As the broad themes explored and many of the issues raised were similar across the focus groups and in depth interviews, the same charting matrix was used for both. This also helped facilitate comparison between the groups and the in depth interviews.

13. By creating a hyperlink between the summary and the data in the transcript.

14. See White et al 'Reporting and presenting qualitative data' in Ritchie and Lewis (eds.) (2003) Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers, London: Sage for more detailed discussion of this issue.

15. Participants were recruited using a question from the Scottish Household Survey which asks how often they have used the bus in the last month (see Annex A). They were eligible to participate if they answered either 'About once a month' or 'Not used the local bus service in the previous month'. Thus a participant may have only used the bus once in the last month, but this could have been in the week before they were recruited. Alternatively, they might have used a bus between being recruited and taking part in the discussion.

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