Away coach

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Re: Away coach

Post by marquess of weston on Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:56 pm

Daz may I first of all say I love you, you big old tart, but you are talking out of your considerably worthy backside ( I have seen the x-Ray). We don't have a 56 seater it is 49. Poole was advertised at £27 with 22 people travelling, that was to make EVEN on the coach, it was clearly stated that the more that travelled the cheaper it would be. As it happened 25 travelled so it was £25. If the 8 of you had travelled it would have been £19. The coach cost us £625, we made NO profit.

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Re: Away coach

Post by Beau Nash on Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:27 pm

I love you both. Razz

Seriously though the point about the coach travel is that it usually costs a lot more than four people in a car would even at £19.

For example Poole today is about 120 mile round trip so if the car owner charged £0.45  per mile (Treasury rate) the cost is £54.00 which is £13.50 each.  So let's be more than generous and say £0.50 per mile = £15.00 each.

No problem about staying for a drink after and if people rotate the driving then only 1 in 4 away games for each driver.

I think the problem is that some people may be put off by the headline cost of coach travel at £34 each.  IF we could fill a 56 seater would the cost be £11.16 (say £12.00), as then it would make a lot of sense and be competitive with car travel.

I would point out that if 4 people regularly shared a car and paid for petrol only the cost of the trip to Poole would be about £4.25 each (120 miles at fuel usage of 8 miles per litre x £1.10 per litre = £16.50, so any "trip" could be charged at say £0.14 per mile for four people), it depends on people agreeing to how it is costed, but there is a lot of room for negotiation to reach even the best coach cost?
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Re: Away coach

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:42 pm

Beau Nash wrote:I love you both. Razz

Seriously though the point about the coach travel is that it usually costs a lot more than four people in a car would even at £19.

For example Poole today is about 120 mile round trip so if the car owner charged £0.45  per mile (Treasury rate) the cost is £54.00 which is £13.50 each.  So let's be more than generous and say £0.50 per mile = £15.00 each.

No problem about staying for a drink after and if people rotate the driving then only 1 in 4 away games for each driver.

I think the problem is that some people may be put off by the headline cost of coach travel at £34 each.  IF we could fill a 56 seater would the cost be £11.16 (say £12.00), as then it would make a lot of sense and be competitive with car travel.

I would point out that if 4 people regularly shared a car and paid for petrol only the cost of the trip to Poole would be about £4.25 each (120 miles at fuel usage of 8 miles per litre x £1.10 per litre = £16.50, so any "trip" could be charged at say £0.14 per mile for four people), it depends on people agreeing to how it is costed, but there is a lot of room for negotiation to reach even the best coach cost?

I don't know why people are saying £34 for this trip; it was always £27, and reduced as the numbers went up, as pointed out.
Some people like to go on the coach, even if they could have gone by car.  On the coach, you don't have to sit next to the same 3 or 4 people for the journey out and the journey back!  You don't have to worry about whether the car packs up (unlikely, I know), and it is nice and relaxing with a good coach driver.  Some people like going on the train - fine.  Good turn-out at Poole today, with many probably going under their own steam, but we had a good number on the coach for Bishop's Stortford last week.  Who would want to bother to drive 150 miles there and 150 miles back?  Well done to the people who organise the coach trips.
Why not try the coach to Hampton & Richmond on Saturday week?

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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:59 pm

Thanks Ged and Marquess for answering Daz's points so well. As one of the committee of bright sparks who set the fares, I can only underline that they are based on the average number of 22 who travelled last season. If more had done so, the fares would have been lower. The key change for this season is the return of the sliding rates - the more who travel, the cheaper the fares. What the Supporters Club cannot afford is to run the coaches at a loss, but if there is a small profit it is our club which benefits. Once we have cleared the outstanding debts from last season's team buses, our intention is to fund the team's training facilities at Filton College.

Finally, well done to Bas who works hard to enable City fans who wish to travel by coach to get to just about every away fixture. Having done the job myself for 13 years, I can assure you it's a pretty thankless task.
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Re: Away coach

Post by BenE on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:15 pm

Isn't that one of the benefits of being a Supporter's club member?
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:29 pm

Daz, I'm sorry that you think you are being discriminated against - that is certainly not the committee's intention and as far as I'm aware non members have not made this accusation before. I hope you can appreciate that membership subscriptions are one of the SC's main income streams and enable us to support BCFC financially. I'm sure you have good reasons for not becoming a member just as the committee has for charging its members less on the coaches.

As for 'speculating to accumulate', I'm no business man but I do understand the importance of only spending what you have. Suppose we were to lower the prices for the next 3 trips - here's the cost of the coach bills/adult fare for members

Hampton & R £625/£27
Hemel £700/£31/18
Wealdstone £700/£31


As I posted yesterday, these fares are based on 22 supporters travelling. If that is the number who actually go, the SC will make a loss, especially as around 40% of the 'regulars' are concessions and pay £2 less. (Apologies to any adults who pay the full fare and feel discriminated against) However the shortfall is made up by the onboard raffle and, if necessary, a subsidy of £50 from the SC funds.

Let's look at your suggestion of setting the prices lower to start with - you don't suggest how low but I'll go with £20 for each of the next 3 trips. So 22 would contribute a maximum of £440 for each in fares - here's the loss faced by the SC...

Hampton & R £185  
Hemel £260
Wealdstone  £260

In order for the trips to break even, we would need a minimum of 30 to book for Hampton and 35 for the other 2. If we fixed the fares at £25 we would need 25 and 28.

We haven't been to Hampton for some years, so it could be a new ground for some while Wealdstone is a fairly popular trip. However, just 18 travelled on the coach to Hemel last season. Like many clubs we play in the south east, the novelty of visiting soon wears off and it's just the hard core who travel.

The view of the committee is that we simply cannot afford to take these risks and if we did I can see a situation arising that by around November we had lost so much that we would be unable to guarantee organising coach travel  - something we have managed to do to just about every league and cup fixture for well over ten years.

The alternative which we have reintroduced is the sliding scale - those who travelled by coach to Margate, Bishop's Stortford and Poole have already saved £14 on the advertised fares.

Hopefully you can see things a little more clearly from the SC's perspective now. If not, I suggest you complain formally by emailing us at...

bathcitysupportersclub@hotmail.co.uk

and we'll consider your complaint at our next monthly meeting.

Or better still, become a member and raise it at the upcoming AGM.
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Re: Away coach

Post by Beau Nash on Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:33 pm

Given that the coach is usually about half full I would look at the problem another way.

What is the biggest capacity coach and how much does it cost to each venue?

What is the cost per seat, without any discounts, add ons or contributions to any other entity other than the supporters club funds?  

In the past charging double to fund the team coach was the root of the problem.

As I said earlier could the cost be brought down to c.£12 per seat or even less?  
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:44 pm

I'm afraid you've lost me with your logic there, but just to point out that the largest vehicle available is a 49 seater. If it was full for every trip, the average price this season with the sliding scale would be £15. Not bad I'm sure you agree, proving that the more who travel the cheaper the fares.

You say the team coach funding was the root of the problem. No it wasn't. Obviously the SC wants to help people get to away matches to support the team but it's role is also to support the club. You and Daz may think that it should be subsidising the supporters coach at far more than the present maximum of £50/trip - the committee, and I guess many SC members, would disagree.
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Re: Away coach

Post by Beau Nash on Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:40 pm

I certainly do not expect the supporters club to subsidise the supporters coach and neither should the travellers be expected to subsidise anything else.  
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:27 pm

Beau Nash wrote:I certainly do not expect the supporters club to subsidise the supporters coach and neither should the travellers be expected to subsidise anything else.  

So who is going to cover the likely losses if we follow your suggestion that the fares are fixed at £12 or even less? I'm not aware the travellers are being expected to subsidise anything else.
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:51 pm

daz wrote:Martin I'm not trying to down all the had work fans do for the club  for free....  but I do feel I have a valid point with this. On Monday V Poole town we took an estimated 100+ fans to the game 25 of which took the coach  hence 75 or so made their own way down... how many of those 75 we were put off by the initial price quoted. As for the extra £4  non members needs to be scrapped because that is TAKING THE PISS......That in my eyes is greed and stupidity.  NOT JUST MY OPINION  MATE...

Daz, while you may disagree with the SC committee's decision on fares, please don't accuse us of being greedy. Every decision we make is with the interests of the club and our members in mind.

However, I do feel you make a valid point about yesterday's trip and also in your first post about the danger of away coach travel dying out. The committee is fully aware of the latter and we conducted a survey amongst supporters who used to travel regularly on the coach but no longer do, asking them why and what might encourage them to return. Here are some of their responses...

REPETITION
• same grounds season after season.

EXPENSIVE
• £20/£25 sounds a little better
• Group travel on train is cheaper
• Car sharing cheaper
• Prices need to be fairer eg no concession rate.

ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVES
• Train and car travel gives us the freedom to make our own itinerary

SUGGESTIONS
• Advertise on the main website + posters around the ground
• Sliding scale of fares depending on numbers

Obviously there are some things mentioned which the SC cannot address, but the return of the sliding scale and increased advertising are two things we have acted on.

As I mentioned earlier today, some trips are always going to be unattractive, whichever form of transport is preferred. 3 trips to Essex on consecutive Saturdays in April will be a challenge even for Bas, unless we are pushing for promotion. You would expect our largest support to be present at Poole, Maidenhead and Weston. If the last 2 were advertised at greatly reduced rates, can you assure us that you and those who share your opinion would travel on the coach?
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Re: Away coach

Post by Beau Nash on Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:55 pm

Beau Nash wrote:...As I said earlier could the cost be brought down to c.£12 per seat or even less?  

Where did I use the word "FIXED"? Obviously the fares would vary depending on distance, the £12 calculation was in my first post on this matter referring to how much a full coach to Poole would cost.
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:25 pm

My question remains the same - how are the likely losses going to be covered?
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Re: Away coach

Post by Beau Nash on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:32 pm

What losses?  Coach costs £625, if it was full with 56 then costs £11.16 each.
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Re: Away coach

Post by OliverH on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:50 pm

This is probably too "tech-y" but you could look at micro-crowdfunding sites/apps like Tilt:

https://www.tilt.com/learn/why-tilt

It would be a bit of a faff to set up but in theory it means you could start the week by saying "Saturday's away day will cost £20pp but only if 40 people sign up before Wednesday night", and if you don't get that, you can say "Sorry not enough people have signed up, the price has to go up, are you still in?" So a sliding scale that starts low.
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Re: Away coach

Post by Elmore James on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:46 pm

Daz, just join the supporters club. Then it's the cheaper fare all the time.

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Re: Away coach

Post by Ma Gibbons on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:49 pm

Beau Nash wrote:What losses?  Coach costs £625, if it was full with 56 then costs £11.16 each.

Beau Nash - as it has been said more than once in this thread the biggest coach we can use is a 49 seater.
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Re: Away coach

Post by OliverH on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:34 pm

Thanks Daz, it's probably trickier than it looks to do it week-in week-out in practice, but if you can find a way around it, it might work.

Martin I'd be glad to take a closer look at this when I get a chance. EDIT: I don't just mean tech solutions, which might not suit all SC members, but simpler solutions that use similar principles around auction theory to find a clearing price.
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:52 pm

Beau Nash wrote:What losses?  Coach costs £625, if it was full with 56 then costs £11.16 each.

I'm starting to think this is a big tease. Are you suggesting we advertise the fare at £11 in the hope that it fills up? Because if you are, you know what my next question will be.
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Re: Away coach

Post by comrade powell on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:04 pm

OliverH wrote:This is probably too "tech-y" but you could look at micro-crowdfunding sites/apps like Tilt:

https://www.tilt.com/learn/why-tilt

It would be a bit of a faff to set up but in theory it means you could start the week by saying "Saturday's away day will cost £20pp but only if 40 people sign up before Wednesday night", and if you don't get that, you can say "Sorry not enough people have signed up, the price has to go up, are you still in?" So a sliding scale that starts low.

While the coach coordinator would certainly not be able to access anything like this, the principle is one used by many supporters clubs at our level. Basically 'the fare to Hampton will be £20 and we need X bookings by Wednesday for the coach to run'
The problem comes when the coach is cancelled and those who rely on it to travel away don't have an alternative. Daz is correct that the numbers using the coach have dropped but there is a hard core who remain and are confident that the SC will get them to away fixtures.
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Re: Away coach

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