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One in five Aberdonians avoid bus due to lack of travel confidence

One in five people in Aberdeen (19%) say that a lack of confidence in knowing how to travel by bus stops them from doing so, according to a recent survey by First Bus.

Women were more likely (22%) than men (17%) to report that low confidence in their knowledge prevents them from travelling by bus.

Among the most common reasons attributed to this lack of confidence were noted as not knowing which bus to get on for their journey (13%), which ticket to ask for (11%) and how much to pay (11%).

The data is shared as First Bus launches a new campaign to help those in doubt to overcome their worries and improve their confidence.

Designed to boost the public’s confidence when it comes to bus travel, the campaign features a series of videos focused on planning your journey, buying tickets, as well as boarding and alighting from the bus.

Using tongue-in-cheek sports commentary to bring some fun to the functional, the videos will feature on platforms including Sky, STV and ITV, as well as online, acting as a ‘how to’ guide with clear information and demonstrations of how to travel by bus.

Reflecting those respondents reporting a lack of confidence, more than one in five of those surveyed (22%) felt that they would benefit from a basic ‘how to’ guide about bus travel.

While nearly a third of those surveyed (31%) were frequent bus users, four in 10 (41%) stated that they ‘virtually never’ use the bus in Aberdeen, with nearly half of the non-bus users (45%) reasoning that this is because they prefer to travel by car.

Duncan Cameron, Managing Director of First Bus Scotland, said: “Bus is one of the cheapest and most environmentally friendly ways of getting around the city, and so we’re keen to ensure that everyone has the confidence to jump on board and use it as their first choice of transport.

“We understand that if you’ve not used a bus in years, or if you didn’t grow up hopping on and off buses, you might feel a little unsure or apprehensive about where to start, or how to travel for the best price.

“We’re proud of the ways in which we’ve upgraded our payment systems and on-board facilities - from Tap and Cap technology, to on board charging and Wi-Fi - to make travelling with us easier and more comfortable than ever. So, this campaign is all about making sure that Aberdeen has the information and confidence it needs to open up this pocket and planet friendly way of travelling to all.”

For more information on First Bus’s ‘How to use the Bus’ campaign, please visit:


Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the survey

This survey was carried out by YouGov on behalf of First Bus in March 2023. The sample size for Aberdeen was 500.

About First Bus

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus no longer purchases new diesel buses and is committed to achieving a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.

First Bus is an equal opportunity employer

First Bus is an excellent place to work with opportunities for a rewarding career. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion. We believe diverse experiences and attitudes help us better understand the needs of our customers.

For more information on First Bus: