X1 Bus Transport Project – Emma Maidment
Staffordshire University invests around £250000 a year to subsidise the X1 bus run by BakerBus in order to provide discounted ticket prices to the students. I was employed within the Student Academic Partnership (SAP) scheme by the Students’ Union to investigate the usage of the bus factor along with answering questions such as who uses the service, when they use it and how often it is used. This would ultimately lead to providing data that the Union could use to determine whether or not the X1bus was a worthwhile service to continue subsiding for the students.
One of the main challenges I faced was collecting sufficient amounts of data. This is because it was very time consuming distributing questionnaires and there was no way of guaranteeing that people answered every question. For example, several of the questionnaires that were returned had only answered the first and last questions, which did not give me any data that was useful to my investigation. So, this led to me having to distribute more questionnaires. Plus, some people do not take kindly to being asked to complete a short questionnaire so it was important to keep myself motivated and not let any rejection dishearten me. In addition, as I am a third year based at the Stoke campus it was difficult for me to find the time to visit the Stafford campus in order to collect data there. However, I managed to do this by collaborating filed work for my course along with the work for the job. To develop the project further it would be useful to get data from BakerBus on the number of student tickets they sold every week and what time of day the highest number of tickets are sold.
Overall, I gained a lot of experience from working as a Project Manager within the SAP scheme. I had to manage mine time and work very effectively as well as contact people I did not know in order to distribute questionnaires, which improved my confidence levels. My IT skills were greatly improved as I was required to make a poster summarising the work and data and I also really enjoyed making the poster. This position has opened my eyes to potential jobs that I may pursue due to the self-confidence and core skills it has helped me develop.