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Timetable Adherence – Ensuring You Always Keep to the Schedule

As an important part of PCV training, timekeeping matters greatly in passenger transport operations. Passenger transport companies live and die by punctuality, so it’s not simply a matter of efficiency. Rather, it’s a vital part of the reliability that leads to people using their services. As such, it’s critical to their existence.

Passengers need to know that the scheduled bus will turn up, and when it doesn’t, the provider in question can take a big reputation hit. It doesn’t particularly matter why the bus is late, as blaming lateness on weather and traffic conditions doesn’t cut much ice. In this article, we look at the importance of running to schedule and tips on ensuring it happens.

The Importance of Sticking to Timetables Can’t Be Underestimated

The need to meet the timetables you set as a passenger transport company is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that your passengers get to where they want to go on time, particularly when talking about people with time-sensitive needs, such as those on the way to work or an important work interview.

Secondly, as previously mentioned, lateness leads to a bad company name, meaning that people end up not trusting what you provide. Not forgetting, of course, that adhering to schedules is part of regulatory compliance and failing to do so can lead to penalties and perhaps even the revoking of your licence to operate.

Useful Strategies for Maintaining Schedules

As with any challenge that PCV operators face, there are strategies that can be put into place to give you a better chance of sticking to their timetables. They include the following:

  • Leveraging real-time data – there’s a whole host of online data about traffic conditions, weather, and other issues that can help transport operators guide their fleet around disruptions. Using a proactive approach, the impact of unforeseen problems on your ability to adhere to the set timetable can be minimised.
  • Accounting for delays – considering that some delays are unavoidable, no matter how good your planning is, it’s vital to incorporate a cushion into your timetables. Building this into your schedules, particularly during peak traffic periods, when congestion is at its worst, will help you maintain punctuality.
  • Vehicle maintenance – when you keep every passenger vehicle in the fleet well maintained, the likelihood of delays relating to breakdowns can drop dramatically. If you want to know more about keeping your vehicle in good order, check out our articles on scheduled maintenance and daily walkaround checks.
  • Training in defensive driving – PCV training teaches defensive driving, which can help avoid unnecessary accidents. However, it’s something that should be reinforced regularly. This will help to instil a culture in which safe driving is prioritised.

A Methodical Approach Can Help You Avoid Delays

Running your buses on time in the PCV industry can be tricky with everything that can happen. However, minimising these problems is within the capabilities of transport managers. By making use of real-time data, keeping on top of vehicle maintenance, offering regular defensive driving training and building a time buffer into your schedules, you’ll do much to avoid delays. 

Maintaining schedules is paramount, as it not only improves customer satisfaction but also helps boost your company’s reputation. In a competitive market, punctuality requires a proactive approach, but it’s achievable when you implement the methods we’ve covered here.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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