Mr Lenthall on the bus service and bus fairs in Stevenage
“we found to our surprise that people chose a bright yellow and blue livery as against the what you might call corporation green which the buses, the ordinary buses were in at that time”
So then we moved on to the next stage. We were very curious about people’s perception of cost, and when we talked to people this way – “Supposing we reduce your bus fare by tuppence, would that be significant to you?” – And they all assured us it meant nothing at all to them, tuppence. Tuppence was the sort of coin you didn’t mind losing every day of the week kind of thing. But we were curious because we weren’t sure that we were really getting to the truth of this. So we reduced the fare. We first of all, we introduced a flat fare instead of the pay-by-distance that the bus operator had been running. We introduced a flat fare and we made it less than they had been paying on average, and we had the usual reduced fares for children and old-age pensioners. We wanted a new image for the bus service, and a new name for it, and we had some delightful experiments testing new liveries out. We had buses in the town square in different coloured liveries, in fact we had one pied piper bus with one livery on one side and one on the other side, asking people which they liked, and they clearly liked the newer, brighter colours. London Country were very helpful to us on this. They provided us with one of their commercial artists who designed the liveries for us, and we found to our surprise that people chose a bright yellow and blue livery as against the what you might call corporation green which the buses, the ordinary buses were in at that time.