‘We are pleased to widen the trial of the Stagecoach Connect app to help support our brilliant NHS staff with getting to and from their shift’

 
The ‘Stagecoach Connect’ app enables NHS staff to ‘pre-book’ their travel to and from work for free

 
Stagecoach East Midlands has widened the trial of its new app, Stagecoach Connect, to help NHS key-workers in Hull to travel to their workplace, on a bus service that is fully compliant with current social distancing guidelines.

The trial of the ‘Stagecoach Connect’ app, which enables NHS staff to ‘pre-book’ their travel to and from work for free, began on June 16 for workers at Hull Royal Infirmary. The initiative was first launched at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield, and developed from concept to delivery in just two weeks to help NHS employees access hospitals in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. After the first initial few weeks of the trial the app has been very successful, seeing a rise in daily bookings and app downloads.

The implementation of the trial follows discussions with Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Hull City Council in the joint effort to further support keyworker needs during COVID-19 to ensure vital public transport links remain in place whilst ensuring social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

Stagecoach partnered with ViaVan, the company that provides digital infrastructure to power public mobility in cities across Europe, to launch the new Stagecoach Connect service.

Staff who download the app will be able to pre-book their return journey. They can select their location for pick up and the time they wish to arrive at the hospital, then confirm the time for their return journey home. Users receive an SMS confirmation of their booking, plus the app allows them to track their bus and receive confirmation when it is nearby.

Journeys can be booked up to seven days in advance and users can also amend and cancel bookings via the app. NHS staff will need to show their ID card to indicate to the driver that they are eligible for the service. A list of booked journeys will be available to the driver to correlate with those boarding the bus, to ensure each booked journey is delivered.

Not only does this new technology ensure that social distancing can be effectively implemented on buses, in line with the government regulations, but we also hope that it will give NHS staff more control and peace of mind when it comes to planning their commute and using our buses safely

“We are pleased to widen the trial of the Stagecoach Connect app to help support our brilliant NHS staff with getting to and from their shifts,” said Matt Cranwell, managing director of Stagecoach East Midlands. “This follows on from the launch of several dedicated shuttle services for hospital workers across the region to provide a bespoke transport service for our key-workers.

“Now, we are taking the next step by enabling NHS staff in Hull to pre-book bus travel to and from work in advance. Not only does this new technology ensure that social distancing can be effectively implemented on buses, in line with the government regulations, but we also hope that it will give NHS staff more control and peace of mind when it comes to planning their commute and using our buses safely.”

A spokesperson for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We’re really grateful to Stagecoach for extending their trial to include Hull, and we hope it is a success so that even more NHS key workers can benefit from the free travel they are offering.”

 
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