LibertyBus, HCT Group's Jersey operation, has launched its first social impact report. The report is based on the findings of a large scale survey on the difference that a public bus service can make to people’s lives. The survey, which sampled the views of over 1,500 bus users, revealed that the service has a real social impact – particularly on the lives of older people, disabled people, young adults and new bus users.

One of the most significant findings was the financial impact of switching to the bus. The survey showed that 82% of people who had started using the bus over the last year had saved money as a consequence. LibertyBus hopes that this message will encourage more people to leave their cars at home – reducing congestion and helping the environment.  

The study also looked in depth at how the bus service can help people to keep in touch, access jobs or services and to generally get out and about – and what that meant to people’s lives.  The survey found that:

  • 39% of older people said their social interaction had improved because of the bus service
  • 29% of disabled people said their access had improved because of the bus
  • 40% of young adults said the bus service had given them more independence.

Kevin Hart, Director of Channel Islands, said. ‘LibertyBus is a social enterprise -  an organisation whose defining mission is to make a positive difference to the community. It’s not good enough to just say we do this, we have to measure our social impact. As a consequence, we have conducted what we believe to be the largest study ever of the social impact of a regular bus service.” 

“The findings confirm things we have long suspected. A high quality mainstream bus service brings people together, helps people to access opportunities and brings down barriers for older and disabled people – a genuine social impact.” 

As a result of this research, LibertyBus has published a Social Impact Report which includes the statistics from the survey alongside the stories of local bus users whose lives have been affected by the service.

Summary findings:

Older people

Disabled people

Younger people

New bus users

39% said their social interaction had improved because of the bus service

30% of disabled people said their confidence had improved

33% of young people said that using the bus has allowed them to access employment e.g. they could not get to their work place without it

82% of new bus users said they saved money through using the bus

32% of older people said getting out and about using the bus had made them feel healthier

29% of disabled people – nearly one in three – say their access had improved because of the bus

40% of young adults said the bus service had given them more independence

32% of new bus users said they had more independence because of the bus service

19% of older people said their personal mobility had improved because of the  bus

29% of disabled people also said they had more independence because of the bus

28% of young adults – well over a quarter – said using the bus service had increased their confidence

26% of new bus users – over a quarter – felt healthier as a result of using the bus

To launch their first Social Impact Report, LibertyBus hosted an event on Thursday 18th May at Highlands College in Jersey. A guest list including local politicians, charities, schools, authorities and bus users heard from Kevin Hart, Director of Channel Islands at LibertyBus, Jude Winter of the HCT Group board and service users speaking about their experiences. Catering and hospitality at the event was provided by Academy students.

Eddie Noel, Minister for Transport said: ‘This report shows that a good quality bus service can have a very positive impact on the local community. The Department of Infrastructure are proud of the relationship that we have built with LibertyBus, and the work they do for the Island.’

A copy of the LibertyBus Social Impact Report can be downloaded here.   

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