Greater Manchester recently announced they were moving to a franchised transport model, making it the first city in the UK outside of London to do so. The news made headlines and put a renewed interest back in franchising models for delivery.
But franchise models are not new. Nor is there a “one size fits all” approach to franchising. London is probably the most well-known and celebrated franchising model, but you can also find different flavours of franchising in Australia, Singapore, and Scandinavia, to name a few.
So why the seemingly sudden renewed interest in franchising?
We can probably thank COVID.
The pandemic has led to massive declines in public transport ridership across the world and many cities. Franchising models enable local governments or regions to control or guarantee a certain level of transport service to their communities. In turn, franchising also provides bus operators with some financial stability during a time when passenger demand continues to fluctuate. Bottom line? Franchise models helps to ensure continued access to mobility, even in times of unstable demand.
Franchising is not just another fad. It’s likely here to stay. Take a moment to learn more about franchising (including global examples) in the following articles:
- A summary of bus franchising explained in this article in Intelligent Transport. What it is, where it makes sense, and the technology required to ensure it succeeds.
- OR download and print the guide Franchising: The Mobility Model for a Post-COVID World?
- Transport for Greater Manchester explains their new franchising model here.