Bus users in Cumbria will be able to use their smartphones to find out how busy their buses are before they arrive.
Stagecoach, Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator, is launching a new “busy bus” indicator app to help customers plan their journeys as services increase across the country from Monday.
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.
Rob Jones, Managing Director of Stagecoach Cumbria, said: “The app will identify just how busy each bus is with a simple ‘traffic light’ system and if there may be a quieter time to travel safely.
“Our existing app already has the UK’s most advanced real time bus tracker and this latest development will help people to confidently and easily plan when they want to travel. It is one of a number of measures we are taking to keep our passengers safe.
“Stagecoach Cumbria is continuing to increase capacity on our bus services, while still supporting social distancing. Strict cleaning regimes will continue for all buses, which includes at least one daily clean of all buses with an anti-viral sanitiser, and contactless payment is also available on all buses.”
The app is now being rolled out to iOS and android users and is planned to be fully in place by Thursday 18 June via the app store and Google Play platforms.
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, with quieter buses showing in a green bus icon indicating ‘not too busy’, through to amber ‘quite busy’ and dark amber ‘very busy’.
Customers can also see where their bus is on the map and when it will be arriving, providing all the information they need at their fingertips.
The new feature 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.
The latest UK government advice states that everybody travelling on public transport from Monday 15 June must wear a face covering. Stagecoach’s guide on how to travel safely and comfortably can be found at stagecoachbus.com/coronavirus.
Mr Jones added: “We are pleased to be welcoming back more passengers onto our buses, as Cumbria gradually re-opens for business.
“At a time when people across the country are also 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.”
The Stagecoach app is available on both the UK Bus iOS and Android platforms.