05 February 2011

Transit Lite

Without warning the last edition of New Transit in 2010 covered both November and December, so a total of 11 issues were produced last year, not the advertised 12. And the first of 2011 was titled January/February, which means this £94 p/a publication could well hit subscribers' doormats with the same annual frequency as the not-for-profit LEYTR.

Another striking observation is that now only TWO people appear employed to produce the magazine's meat. The same as the number of LEYTR editors! New Transit no longer carries a £4.50 cover price - it's gone completely, although we understand that it was impossible for anyone to purchase it at this price from anywhere other than Landor Publishing, who then charged p+p which made the annual subscription a shade cheaper for 12 copies. The LEYTR cover paper quality is now far superior to that used by New Transit, if the latest Jan/Feb 2011 edition is to become the norm.

Has the recession hit transport publishings? National newspapers have seen a decline in readership for many years, spurred on by the Internet and mobile phone applications. We assumed trade magazines were a little more hardy - perhaps they have been but now the cracks are showing? New Transit not long ago revitalised itself, being produced at a frequency that saw 100% fewer editions per year. The same appears to be true again. By contrast, CBW, or Coach & Bus Week as it reverted to, has been available from most WH Smiths for the past couple of months, with a fresh new look and a decent discount for a 3-year subscription.

And what of New Transit's subscribers, who have paid up to three years in advance? Some (us!) were a little annoyed to see the fortnightly broadsheet-style mag become what it did in 2009 - a monthly features-based publication, and now a further reduction to potentially 6 copies per year.

We consider Transit's heyday to be its original format where its analysis of operator performance was truly market leading. Not much of that now. Not much of anything. A sad day indeed.

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