Stagecoach Greater Manchester introduces new app to ensure safe social distancing
- Data and artificial intelligence to help with social distancing;
- Traffic light indicator enables passengers to consider alternative, quieter routes.
The Stagecoach Group is launching a new smartphone “Busy Bus” indicator app. This will help customers plan their journeys as service frequencies increase across the country.
The new feature on the Stagecoach bus app will use extensive data and artificial intelligence to provide a traffic light indicator to help customers choose quieter services and maintain social distancing. If, for example, you are stood at the Trough in Audenshaw (waiting for a 219) it might suggest waiting another five minutes for a 221.
The app is now being rolled out to iOS and Android users. It will be ready by the 18 June, and available to download via the iOS App Store and Google Play platforms. The “busy bus” tracker will provide a regularly updated guide to how busy individual bus services are in networks across the UK.
It is part of a comprehensive package of safety measures in place to help people travel in confidence as the economy and daily life reopens at different speeds across England, Scotland and Wales. Each service in the live map on the app will be colour coded. Quieter bus routes will be shown in a green bus icon, meaning ‘not too busy’. A ‘quite busy’ bus route would be shown in a light amber icon, with dark amber for ‘very busy’ routes.
Passengers will be also to see where their bus is on the map, and when it will be arriving in real time. Basically, everything you need to know about the 216 at your fingertips.
Stagecoach’s app already has the UK’s most advanced real time bus tracker. This latest development will help people to confidently and easily plan when they want to travel. It is the latest addition in an extensive range of measures by Stagecoach to help customers feel confident in using buses as they continue to provide a vital link to work, retail and leisure facilities.
Stagecoach is continuing to increase capacity on bus services to support social distancing. Strict cleaning regimes continue for all buses, which includes at least a daily clean of all buses with an anti-viral sanitiser. Contactless payment is also available on all buses.
The latest UK government advice states that everybody travelling on public transport from 15 June must wear a face covering. Stagecoach’s guide on how to travel safely and comfortably can be found at stagecoachbus.com/coronavirus.
Carla Stockton-Jones, Interim Managing Director UK for Stagecoach, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming more people back onto our buses as things start to open up around the country.
“We have already put a range of extra measures in place to make sure our customers feel confident in using our services, including strict cleaning regimes and social distancing measures, which we know are the biggest priorities for travellers. The launch of our new busy bus indicator is an extra step to give people an easy, at a glance guide on the best times to travel and to plan their journeys to avoid busier times.
“Buses continue to play a vital role in connecting people with work and leisure facilities. At a time when people across the country are starting to be reunited with friends and family, this investment in new technology will help to ensure that people can be completely prepared and confident in using our services.”
An EM60 Presentation, 12 June 2020.