Passenger Information Notice

Here is a notice that appeared on various London buses in early 1988. The information it tries to convey will not go into a single, simple message. It has many aspects and complexities, which obviously  overwhelmed the person writing it.

Try to restructure the notice and present it in a way that passenger can understand rather more easily.

Two possible solutions are suggested below, but do write a version of your own before looking at them.


Buses 216, 237, and 290 in Surrey

Return fares will be introduced for

journeys outside Greater London

on Bus 290, and these tickets will be

inter-available for return journeys

on route 216 between Staines and


Some single fares will be increased

by up to 20p, but on Route 237 only

fares for journeys crossing the

Greater London boundry will be

Increased, and local fares within

Surrey will be unchanged.

Here now are the two possible versions of a more readable notice.

Buses 216, 237, and 290 in Surrey

NEW FARES: Single fares will rise by up

to 20p. On the 237 route, the fare

increase applies only to journeys into

or out of Greater London; fares within

Surrey remain the same.

NEW TICKETS: Buses 216 and 290 will

both sell return tickets which can be

used on either route. The tickets will

be available only for journeys outside

Greater London.


Starting  soon . . .

Bus  216 X. local Surrey fares unchanged

X. other fares rising by up to 20p

X. return tickets available if

Purchased on bus 290

Bus  237 X. Fares into and out of

Greater London rising

by up to 20p

X . other fares unchanged

Bus  290 X. local Surrey fares unchanged

X. other fares rising by up to 20p

X. return fares available outside

Greater London – these can also

be used on route  216 between

Staines and Sunbury

Effective from 10 January 1988


Note how the two versions structure the material differently, using a  distinctive basic division of the material  differently, using a distinctive basic division of the material in each case.

The first version divides the subject into two main sections, New Tickets. In fact, the headings could just as well be Single Fares and Return Fares.

The second version uses a three-part classification, taking each of the three buses in turn.

The main difficulty seems to be this: there is just too much complex information  to make a single snappy, eye-catching notice. The bus company should have complied three different notice, one for each route.(After all, the passengers on bus 237 do not really need the details of route  216.) The second version above would make a good basis: simply break up the information into three parts, and incorporate each part into a separate notice.

Remember, a good notice needs more than just good wording . Its needs a thoughtful layout too, and an eye-catching design – here perhaps including a witty slogan with a brightly coloured picture or appropriate diagram.

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