PUBLIC transport giant Go-Ahead is gearing up for a busy year as it submits bids for two rail franchises to add to the three it already runs.
The Newcastle-based bus and rail operator is looking forward to the Olympics when, as well as its bus services, it expects to carry one in 10 of the Games-goers using public transport on its Southeastern rail franchise.
Go-Ahead also operates the Southern (including Gatwick Express) and London Midland franchises with French firm Keolis.
The group as a whole yesterday reported a 5.9% rise in revenues to £1,199.5m in the six months to the end of December, although operating profit fell to £51.7m from £59m.
When one-off £9m rail contract management benefits from the previous year were excluded, the figure was up by £1.7m. Revenues in the rail division were up by 9.6% and rose by 5% on its buses. Chief executive Dave Brown said: “We’ve got good patronage growth. There is good factual evidence of modal shift because of the increased fuel and increased insurance costs.
“Fuel cost rises are smaller costs for us than for household budgets. It’s about 10% of our total costs and a lot are hedged.
“In independent customer research we have a high customer satisfaction rating and once we’ve got them, we keep them. Our North East bus companies have a 92% satisfaction rating, which is very high.”