Appendix 2: Focus Group Topic Guide
Concessionary Travel Focus Group Discussion Guide
Introductions (5 minutes)
Facilitator introduces research and reminds participants about confidentiality and anonymity. Ask all participants to introduce themselves and give brief intro to their Concessionary Travel Card history.
- Local to the area?
- How long had a Concessionary Travel Card?
- What type of card they hold
1. Current use of Concessionary Travel Card (20 minutes)
Facilitator to find out the types of usage of the Concessionary Travel Card and the circumstances in which a Concessionary Travel Card is used.
- When using your card is it mostly for Social/Pleasure/Business?
- When are you travelling? Daytime? weekends? evenings?
- Where do you use your card? (bus, ferry, etc)
- How frequently are you using the card? (daily, weekly, less often?)
- What sort of distances are you travelling when you use the card? Is it travelling in your local area, or do you use it to travel further away?
- Describe the process of getting on the bus - do you put your card on the ticket machine? (probe if yes/no)
- Does the driver always ask to see your photo/ask for a destination (why/why not?)
- Do you use your card for anything other than free bus travel? (probe: leisure, library, ferry, train?) - probe awareness of using card for other activities?
2. Administration and management (15 minutes)
- How did you find out about the Concessionary Travel Card scheme?
- How easy was it to apply for a card in the first instance? (replacement cards?) Any issues when completing the form?
- Where did you go for your card? How knowledgeable were the staff?
- Any card renewals? (probe on the process)
- Has anyone visited the Transport Scotland website (probe for comments -helpful?)
3. Misuse (5-10minutes)
- Have you come across examples of anyone abusing the concessionary travel scheme - this can be cardholders, bus operators or anyone else?
- In what circumstances were people misusing the scheme? What should the punishments be?
- (If no examples - do you think the card scheme is open to misuse? Why/why not?)
- Are you aware you can report misuse to Transport Scotland through their hotline? (probe if anyone used this hotline? Aware of it? Would you use it?)
4. Value of the Concessionary Travel Card (25minutes)
- What are the benefits of using the card? What are the most important aspects for you?)
- What difference has the card made to you? (health, quality of life, financial savings, etc)
- What difference will the card make to you in the future (probe: encourage socialising, get out the house, reduce demand for health care, increased use of leisure and culture facilities?)
- Without this scheme, what would your circumstances be? (would you still be able to get out of the house/work, etc. Probe fully)
- Without the card do you think you would.....? (probe: make more use of other public transport, of taxis, take the car more, rely on friends and family, go out less often).
(Activity) - Ask participants to establish the important elements of the concessionary travel card scheme and to rank them in order as a group, using flash cards (if appropriate) For example: What are the important elements of the scheme? Which is the most important to you? Rank in order of importance...e.g.., allows independence, saving money.....
5. Satisfaction with the Scheme (15 minutes)
- How satisfied are you overall with the Concessionary Travel Card scheme? (ask open and probe fully...why do you say that?)
- (Activity) - ask participants to rate on a scale of one to five, where one is poor and five is excellent, their satisfaction with the following aspects of the scheme:
- Applying for a card
- Information on Transport Scotland's website
- Your experience of using the card for bus travel generally
- Your experience of using the card for train or ferry travel generally
- Your experience of using the card for other leisure and culture services
- (Other - based on findings from discussion)
- Do you have any suggestions for ways the scheme could be improved in the future?
6 Thank and Close (5 minutes)
- Any other final comments from participants.
Facilitator to thank participants and remind them their comments will remain anonymous. Remind participants this information will be aggregated with other focus group participant comments to inform a report for Transport Scotland.