Outcome summary of user engagement on ‘Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland’ Report


The ‘Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland’ report presents statistics on public transport operated by Translink in Northern Ireland and it brings together information on public transport journeys, vehicles and staff. The first publication in this statistical series was produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and released on 29th March 2023. Statisticians in ASRB have since been engaging with key stakeholders and have carried out a user engagement survey; this document presents the findings.  

User Engagement

ASRB statisticians have recently been engaging with key stakeholders on the tables and data published in the ‘Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland’ statistical report. ASRB has also engaged more widely with users of this report to inform future statistical publications and to determine the range of data users need. As part of this engagement, ASRB statisticians conducted a user engagement survey, and a copy of the questionnaire is included in the Appendix.

Engagement Survey

The user survey on Citizen Space opened on the 6th June 2023 and closed on the 4th July 2023. An email was sent on 6th June 2023 to notify those on the user distribution list of the purpose of the survey and that it was live for user engagement. A further reminder email was sent out to the same group of people on 21st June, and again on 29th June as the Survey was due to close on the Tuesday of the following week (4th July).

In order to capture the views of a wider range of potential or unknown users, a global notification of the survey was posted on the Northern Ireland Civil Service intranet as well as a notice circulated on an agency brief to all NISRA staff for feedback. DfI issued three tweets to notify and remind twitter users of the survey on Citizen Space. An initial notification was tweeted on 6th June and this was retweeted from the NISRA twitter account. A reminder tweet on 21st June was again retweeted by NISRA and finally a reminder was tweeted on 29th June, confirming that the Survey would close on 4th July 2023.

Responses Received

Forty-five responses were received to the user engagement survey, however only twenty-nine respondents had read or used the bulletin.

Summary of Responses

Primary Uses

According to the 29 respondents that have read or used the bulletin, its primary uses are for:

• ‘General Information’ (68%);

• ‘Policy development/review’(24%);

• ‘Monitoring / Benchmarking’(21%); and

• ‘Briefing (e.g. to senior managers/colleagues)’ (21%).

(Note users could select multiple uses).

Information Used

The information in the publication is used mainly in the form of the main report (65%)

followed by the infographic (62%) and the key points (55%).

(Note users could select multiple formats).

Frequency of Reporting

Just over half (55%) of respondents currently using the report strongly agree or agree that the frequency of reporting meets their needs, almost one quarter neither agreed nor disagreed.

Ease of Understanding and Access

The majority of respondents (86%) agreed or strongly agreed that the content of the report was easy to understand, while the remainder neither agreed nor disagreed. Again, the majority of respondents (83%) found the report was easy to access.

Trust in Statistics

Of those respondents who have read the report, 70% agreed or strongly agreed that they could trust the statistics reported in Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland. Only 2 respondents (7%) did not agree with this statement but no reasons were provided/comments added.

Need for Data

The majority of respondents continue to have a need for most of the data and statistics currently being reported by Public Transport Statistics. The feedback showed that less than half of all respondents are currently using or likely to need ‘passenger miles’. However, the need for these data was discussed with key users who have determined there is still a requirement for these data. The  data and commentary will provide greater clarity in relation to operating and passenger miles. Furthermore, some respondents and stakeholders indicated an interest in a breakdown of mileage by fuel/ emissions type which has been requested from Translink for future publications.

User Suggestions and Way Forward

Respondents had the opportunity to request future changes and further data that could be reported in the publication and 21 respondents left suggestions which have been addressed or are being taken into consideration by ASRB along with DfI Public Transport Divisions and Translink.  A summary of these key themes and the way forward is outlined below.

Environmental Issues
The first report published in March 2023 includes statistics on buses by fuel type (diesel, diesel hybrid and zero emissions). Future reports will also include bus operating miles by vehicle fuel type.

Service Delivery

The Public Service Agreement (PSA) between DfI and the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (known as Translink) includes a customer success dimension. There are Key Performance Indicators relating to the punctuality and reliability of Translink’s bus and rail services.  Operational data are provided by Translink to Public Transport Operations Division for monitoring of punctuality and reliability.

Safety and accidents involving public transport

Respondents indicated that they would also like to see more information in the bulletin on safety and accidents involving public transportThere will be a new Key Performance Indicator (KPI) within the new Road Safety Strategy that records the number of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) casualties where a bus was involved in the collision.  This refers to KSI casualties in collisions involving a bus or coach with capacity for 17+ passengers.  It should be noted however, that it is not possible to break this KPI down by public/private bus.  The Road Safety Strategy report, including this KPI, will be available on the DfI website.

Statistics on safety using public transport are published within the Walking Cycling and Public Transport in Northern Ireland 2021/22 report. This report presents information from the 2021/22 Continuous Household Survey; respondents were asked ‘Do you feel safe using public transport?’.   More than half (56%) of respondents said they feel ‘very safe’ while using public transport, and almost two-fifths (39%) said they feel ‘fairly safe’ using public transport. A small proportion of respondents (1%) said they feel ‘very unsafe’ using public transport.

Respondents were subsequently asked ‘During the last 12 months, have you been the victim of a crime while using public transport?’. Less than 0.5% said that they had been a victim of a crime so no further results were reported.

Passenger Feedback

In relation to the need for more information on Passenger Feedback, users should note that Translink have procured CARD Group to facilitate customer satisfaction monitoring amongst Translink bus and rail passengers in Northern Ireland. This project is being overseen by a monitoring group comprising representatives from Translink, DfI and the Consumer Council. The first set of results from the survey will be published in Autumn / Winter 2023 when sufficient data become available. A link to details of the research will be available on the Public Transport Statistics section of the DfI website.

The Walking Cycling and Public Transport in Northern Ireland 2021/22 report also includes statistics on satisfaction with public transport.  In 2021/22, almost 8 in 10 (79%) of respondents said they were ‘satisfied’ with public transport facilities in their area.

Urban/Rural Statistics

Users also expressed a need for urban / rural analysis in the report.  Whilst home postcodes are collected in the CARD group survey, an urban /rural analysis has not been undertaken and this would require a further piece of work to be carried out. 

Accessibility Statistics

As mentioned above, the first set of results from the CARD group survey will be published in Autumn / Winter 2023. These may include breakdowns by age and mobility issues and on the accessibility of vehicles if the data are sufficiently robust.  A link to details of the research will be available Public Transport Statistics section of the DfI website.

Future Public Transport Statistics reports will also include more detailed statistics in relation to bus accessibility.

The Walking Cycling and Public Transport report presents data from the 2021/22 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to frequency of public transport use, type of public transport used, satisfaction with using, and feelings of safety while using public transport. These statistics are published by various categories including age group, disability and urban/rural where the data are sufficiently robust. See the report for further details.

Concessionary Fares

There was also some reference in the User Engagement to the Consultation on Concessionary Fares in Northern Ireland.  Users may wish to note that Management Information was published to coincide with this review and this is available on the DfI website.

Timetables and Connections

For users interested in data relating to timetables and connections, please note that Translink publish data on the Open Data NI portal.  There are datasets available on timetable data, the Northern Ireland Rail Network and on bus and rail stations. Furthermore, the Translink Station Guide states that opening times, staff hours, parking details, timetable and ticketing information, facilities and accessibility details for bus and train stations and Park & Ride locations are available by searching for a station, though some of this information is still being gathered.

Timeliness of report

As timeliness of the report is an essential aspect in the production of official statistics and as timeliness was also raised by users, a decision has been made to publish the second edition of the Public Transport Statistics report with data to 2022/23 on 27th September 2023.

Future publications and contact details

If you would like to be kept informed about our future publications, then please join our user distribution list by emailing the responsible statistician at the address below. If you wish to provide any further feedback on any of the publications please complete our branch customer survey.

Contact Details: -

Responsible statistician: -

Allan Nesbitt

Address: -

Analysis, Statistics & Research Branch Room 5-25

Clarence Court

10-18 Adelaide Street



Tel: 028 9054 0800 (Text relay prefix 18001)

E-mail: ASRB@nisra.gov.uk

Appendix 1 – User engagement survey

Using the Publication

Have you read/used Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland 2021/22?


Please select only one item


Usefulness of existing publication

2. Which products of the 'Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland' publication do you make use of? Select all that apply.


Please select all that apply

The main report                                    
The infographic  
The key points  
Interactive charts within report  
The tables and figures Excel document  
Background Quality Report  
Quality Assurance of Administrative Data Report  
Other (please specify)  


3. What do you use Public Transport Statistics for? (select all that apply)



Please select all that apply

Briefing (eg to senior managers/ colleagues)  
Policy development/ review  
Operational decision making  
Trasnsport modelling/planning  
Academic or other research  
Media use  
Commercial purposes  
General information   
Other (please specify)  


Current Publication


4 To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding the Public Transport Statistics?

  Strongly Agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Not applicable

The current  frequency of annually reporting Public Transport Statistics meets my needs

Please select only one item


I could easily understand the content of the Public Transport Statistics publication

Please select only one item


I found the Public Transport Statistics publication easy to access

Please select only one item


I trust the statistics contained in The Public Transport Statistics publication

Please select only one item


I found the Public Transport Statistics publication easy to navigate

Please select only one item


I found the interactive content easy to use

Please select only one item


It was easy to download data from the report

Please select only one item




5. Overall, how satisfied are you with the Public Transport Statistics Northern Ireland publication and the accompanying documentation?


(Required) Very Satisfied Satisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied

How satisfied are you?

Please select only one item


Please provide any further comment in the box below;

Future of the publication

6 Which of the following topics do you use and have an ongoing need for?

(Required) Currently use and need in future Currently use but unlikely to need in future Don’t currently use but need in future Don't currently use and unlikely to need in future
Public Transport Journeys        
Passenger receipts        
Passenger miles        
Journeys by paying/non-paying customers        
Journeys by payment type        
Journeys by smart/non-smart methods        
Public Transport Vehicles        
Average age of vehicles        
Bus by fuel type        
Vehicles by onboard facilities        
Vehicle compliance with accessibility regulations        
Average number of staff employed by Translink        

7 Are there any additional public transport statistics we should consider including in future publications?

 Please specify


Contact details

8 Can we contact you about your responses? If so, please provide your email address.




Back to top