A range of sales methods

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The Big Lemon started out by charging an annual membership fee for use of their community bus service, and sold a range of different ticket types to their members from a number of different types of outlet. They sold daily and weekly tickets directly on the bus, six-journey passes in university campus shops, and three month and twelve month passes online.  Paying daily on the bus was the most expensive option, and then the more passengers were willing to commit the cheaper the deal became.  The company also took advantage of cross-selling opportunities; for example selling coach tickets to music festivals to the student audience already using the bus services, and private coach hire services to the student clubs and societies. Now, with their new model, the bulk of The Big Lemon’s business is not sold directly to the passenger but instead the company provides bus services on behalf of both the University of Brighton and Brighton & Hove City Council.  This is more secure and enables better planning, as revenues are guaranteed as long as the service is provided as contracted.  The downside is that there is less freedom, but in reality they found it was still possible to run the service in their own style so it was a small price to pay and well worth it. In the case of The Big Lemon’s services for University of Brighton students and staff, funding from the University allows the company to operate the service free at the point of use.  This significantly increases take-up and allows The Big Lemon to better fulfil their aims in terms of reducing the number of car journeys and thereby reducing energy use, pollution and CO2 emissions.

Source: Community-Led Transport Initiatives action pack