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28 Feb 2003

Take the bus for the latest gossip - or to find a new love!

Next time you divulge juicy details to a friend when travellingby bus, beware – a recent survey for bus operator Arriva hasrevealed that three out of four British women would think nothingof eavesdropping on your secrets.

And men aren't far behind in tuning in to conversations – 57 percent of male bus users admit to listening in on other passengers'conversations whilst travelling.

A recent bus users' survey carried out for Arriva askedcustomers about a number of different activities to establishwhether there were any differences between how men and women behaveand react on buses – and if the north-south divide really existsfor bus users.

The survey accompanies a UK-wide campaign giving people anopportunity to find out more about bus services in their area andgiving discounts on tickets as an incentive to travel. Leafletsalso contain simple route maps and detail which bus to catch to arange of key destinations.

Households on 74 of Arriva's busiest routes and networks willreceive information about their local service, including times ofthe first and last buses, how often they run and details aboutmoney saving ticket deals.

The survey also revealed that northerners appear to have lessinhibitions – with 67 per cent having struck up a conversation witha complete stranger compared with only 42 per cent of southerners.It's not that southerners are shy – they are more likely than theirnorthern counterparts to ask someone out for a date.

As the wheels go round, so do many passengers' thoughts, withnearly three quarters of northern bus users questioned saying thatthey daydreamed on route. And around a third of people admitted torelaxing so much that they managed to catch forty winks.

Catherine Mason, marketing and customer service director forArriva's UK Bus division explains:

The campaign recognises that many people are put offbus travel because they don't know when and where the bus goes.Although elements of the survey are fun, 71 per cent of northernand 80 per cent of southern respondents said they would use the busmore frequently if they knew more about what services were onoffer.
Arriva has invested nearly £190 million in newbuses over the last four years and this heavyweight campaign, nowin its third year of activity, takes the next logical step oftelling both existing and potential customers how to get the bestfrom their local Arriva bus service.

Leaflets are to be distributed to almost 2.6 million homesbetween March and May 2003.