New tools to help bus passengers prove a hit during COVID-19 crisis
3 weeks ago
Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, launched its new website in the middle of April and in just two months it has already managed to clock up one million page views, despite many people being unable to travel in that period due to lockdown.
The company’s buses have now returned to timetables that are similar to their pre-coronavirus times on weekdays, and special timetables on weekends, with some adjustments to evening frequencies as some leisure and entertainment venues are still closed. The 1st June timetable change included some service changes planned prior to the crisis and these have been adapted following feedback and changes in demand.
Customers who are returning to bus travel can benefit from improved information and a whole host of new and enhanced features on the website, which was developed by industry-leading provider Passenger.
In addition to this, Go North East has launched two new features that aid social distancing on its buses.
The company’s ‘When2Travel’ planning tool allows customers to look at journeys up to two weeks ahead, using a sophisticated prediction engine to forecast how quiet the bus will be on each journey and down to individual parts of the journey.
Customers can also check this on the day with live data thanks to the new ‘How many seats are left on my bus?’ feature which shows how quiet or busy the bus is in real-time.
The feature also shows if the bus is a single or double-decker, and if the bus has any other benefits such as free Wi-Fi and USB charging.
Martijn Gilbert, managing director at Go North East, said: “We launched our website back in April ahead of schedule to help key workers and those making essential journeys.
“Now, as shops and businesses start to reopen, more customers will see our much-improved website and the features it has, helping them make informed decisions and travel choices at these uncertain times.
"With enhanced cleaning regimes and new digital tools to help people find the best journeys, our buses are clean, safe and here for people when they need us.”
The company has also produced a helpful video for customers returning to bus travel to explain its special arrangements due to COVID-19, that can be viewed below.