Electric city buses increase passenger satisfaction4/2/19
Since their inception almost four years ago, Volvo’s all-electric buses operating on route 55 in Gothenburg, Sweden, have demonstrated that they are a viable and sustainable public transport solution for urban areas. Now the latest customer satisfaction survey results show that its passengers are also increasingly satisfied with the route.
West Sweden’s public transport authority, Västtrafik, has revealed the results of its latest customer satisfaction survey, conducted in the last quarter of 2018. And now, more than ever before, passengers are onboard with the significant benefits Volvo’s all-electric buses on route 55 in Gothenburg have to offer.
Route 55 forms part of an innovative initiative launched by ElectriCity, a collaboration that develops, tests and demonstrates new, attractive and sustainable transport solutions for the future. Running entirely on electricity generated by wind and hydropower, the buses are quiet and emission-free, and have been successfully operating through the centre of Gothenburg since 2015.
All-time high results
“Customer satisfaction on route 55 is at an all-time high,” says Peter Nordin, Co-ordinator for ElectriCity for Volvo Group. “It’s really interesting for us to see the results of Västtrafik’s customer survey, as it includes extra questions in relation to route 55 and ElectriCity that allow us to follow additional parameters that we don’t see for other buses. When we look at the results, it’s clear that our buses – in particular their low noise level onboard and contribution to a better city environment – are increasingly appreciated by passengers using the route.”
Camilla Holtet, Development Manager, Västtrafik, agrees: “Our customers are generally very pleased with the ElectriCity’s bus line 55 and they like it more than other routes. They appreciate that it is quiet, the ride is smooth, the interior is pleasant, and they feel safe while waiting for the bus. I’m really happy with the results of the survey, since our goal is to operate solely with electric buses in all urban areas of the entire Västra Götaland region by 2030.”
More willing to use the route
When asked about the sound level onboard the buses, 94% of customers using the route responded positively, an increase of 7% in comparison to the results of the third quarter of 2018. An impressive 96% of passengers also agreed that the all-electric buses contribute to a better urban environment. Moreover, a large proportion of passengers said that because the line is operated using environmentally friendly fuel, this positively affected their willingness to travel on the route.
“Not only do its passengers appreciate Route 55,” Peter comments, “they are actually choosing to travel on this line because of its lower environmental impact. The figures speak for themselves: since the project began, each year we have seen an increase of 10% in customer numbers, and in 2018 we reached one million passengers in total. I see that as a really important milestone for ElectriCity and Route 55.”
Passenger feedback on the introduction of an innovative indoor bus stop – made possible on the route due to the lack of noise and carbon emissions – has also been notably positive. 82% of those interviewed totally agreed with the statement ‘I appreciate the indoor bus stop at Teknikgatan.’
Expanding the concept
Peter believes that with electric buses, it’s possible to enhance the customer experience and change the ways cities are working with urban planning. He says: “Their lack of emissions means it’s possible to get closer to passengers and introduce more indoor bus stops. The city of Gothenburg is now looking to further develop the concept to see if it would be possible to integrate indoor public transport using electric buses.”
Following on from the success of route 55 and the encouraging feedback from its passengers, Västtrafik’s ambitious plans to operate solely with electric buses in all urban areas of West Sweden are already underway.
Camilla adds: “This summer, we will introduce electric buses on one bus line in Borås and one in Uddevalla, and in Lidköping the entire urban public transportation system will be electric by the summer of 2019. Starting in October this year, we will also run electric buses on line 60 in Gothenburg. By the end of the year, all of the buses on that line will be electric. We are delighted that we can now bring the experiences from the ElectriCity project into all the upcoming tenders for public transportation.”
The ElectriCity collaboration
The partners involved are Volvo Group, the Västra Götaland Region, Västtrafik, the City of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, the Swedish Energy Agency, Johanneberg Science Park, Lindholmen Science Park, Göteborg Energi, Älvstranden Utveckling, Ericsson, Keolis, Akademiska Hus and Chalmersfastigheter. Visit www.electricitygoteborg.se for more information.