This research, by Transport for Quality of Life, identifies the underlying conditions that best predict levels of bus use in local areas. It points to six conditions which, when combined, are used to define the ‘Intrinsic Bus Potential’ (IBP) of a local authority area. These include the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the proportion of students, and rush-hour traffic travel times.
The report also identifies additional factors which may explain why some areas exceed expectations with higher levels of bus use than predicted, such as a pre-existing culture of bus use, high levels of bus provision, and local factors such as poor rail connectivity.
The research has a number of important implications, including the need for radical change on bus policy to enable more areas to do significantly better on bus patronage.