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One contribution to the Audio Comments Box (ACB) made on board of the Flexibus which will appear in this week's ACB column in the local newspaper

Rural Affairs.

Transport & Community: Keypoints

Issues: High dependency on cars in rural areas. 1/6th rural households are without a car. Rural public transport coverage is limited, often infrequent and inflexible.

Policy: Supporting small-scale, flexible local initiatives which are responsive to people's needs. Increasing access to transport interchanges. Encourage active participation of communities in shaping and managing their own affairs.

Aims: Enhance established transport initiatives. Enable flexible, adaptive systems. Strengthen communities around bus corridors. Give the users a voice. Examine the experience of the passengers. Raise the profile of public transport use.

Audio Comments Box: Keypoints

Purpose: Enable local passengers to voice their concerns and suggestions. Events of local interest can be announced. Tourists can give feedback on their experience of the area. Providers can adapt their services according to user feedback. The integration with the press raises awareness of the public transport system.

System: Provides additional activity on the journeys. The audio format is easy to use whilst bus is in motion. Adds to existing verbal communication on the bus. Builds on existing resources: transport schemes and local newspapers. Scalable. Primary trials can be low-tech to limit initial expense.

Audio Comments Box: Scenario

1. Passenger boards the Flexibus.
2. Driver introduces the passenger to the Audio Comments Box (ACB) system comprising a simple speech recorder and the local newspaper.
3. Local newspaper includes an ACB column drawing on the comments of the previous week about the bus service, items of local interests, suggestions for change etc.
4. This encourages further discussion amongst the passengers and contributions to the ACB.
5. Audio comments are passed on to the local newspaper.
6. Comments are used as the basis for the next ACB column and are directed to the local community service providers.

(with Andy, Angus, Mark and Milan.)
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