The innovation is intended to reduce uncertainty for customers and allow them to make informed decisions about their essential journeys

 
Going live this week, the app update will show customers a bus icon on a map depicting the live location and available capacity of each vehicle in the vicinity

 
First Bus is launching an update to its mobile app that will enable customers across the UK to live track not only the location of their next bus but also its available capacity, as part of its efforts to enable its customers social distance on board its services.

First believes that it will be the first major bus operator to roll out live capacity tracking. The innovation is intended to reduce uncertainty for customers and allow them to make informed decisions about their essential journeys. It has been made possible by First Bus’s new passenger counting functionality, announced at the end of May. Data from this system feeds directly to the First Bus app in real time.

Going live this week, the app update will show customers a bus icon on a map depicting the live location and available capacity of each vehicle in the vicinity. This new functionality will provide customers with the information they need as the bus approaches.

The update coincides with First Bus doubling the number of buses operating across England from June 1, with support from UK Government. The operator expects to be able to increase service levels across its networks in Scotland and Wales in coming weeks.

To further support social distancing, and in addition to passenger counting, seats on each bus are now clearly marked indicating where customers should sit.

First Bus continues to encourage cashless payments, and use of the app to purchase mTickets, to reduce the need for contact between customers and drivers.

We are really proud to have been able to fast-track this technology to ensure safe, informed travel during these difficult times

“We are really proud to have been able to fast-track this technology to ensure safe, informed travel during these difficult times,” said Giles Fearnley, managing director of First Bus. “Our buses provide an essential service for our customers and we are doing all we can to support them.”

An analysis of 85 passenger transport apps by Passenger Transport last September found that the First Bus app was one of 18 to receive a four-star rating from users. It scored more highly than rival offerings from the UK’s other large bus groups.

 
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