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Stagecoach East Midlands scoop top UK Bus and Coach Award for Connect initiative in Hull

22 Nov 2021

Stagecoach East Midlands today announced that they have won an award at this year’s UK Bus and Coach Awards for their ‘Stagecoach Connect’ initiative which supported NHS workers through the pandemic in Hull.

The annual awards ceremony, which was cancelled in 2020, celebrated the achievements of operators and staff across the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stagecoach East Midlands won the Outstanding Partnership Award for their ‘Stagecoach Connect’ initiative, which has been supporting key workers in Hull.

The Stagecoach Connect technology is powered by Via, the global leader in TransitTech, and the app offered a demand driven digital booking platform that helped NHS workers to get to work and back with ease using a smartphone application, while also ensuring social distancing rules were followed. NHS staff were able to ‘pre-book’ their travel to and from work by selecting the nearest bus stop they wish to be picked up from and taken back to following their shift and could track their bus and get confirmation when it was nearby.

The dedicated transport service aimed to better facilitate NHS staff getting to work at local hospitals in a safe and timely manner by giving them more control and freedom when it came to commuting. The initiative was developed from concept to delivery in just two weeks to aid the Covid-19 response.

Stagecoach East Midlands worked closely with Hull Royal Infirmary (Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) and Hull City Council on the scheme, before its launch in May 2020.

Matt Cranwell, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “We are delighted to have the Stagecoach Connect app recognised at the annual UK Bus and Coach Awards. The app was one way in which Stagecoach East Midlands were able to support our brilliant NHS staff with getting to and from their shifts safely and give them more peace of mind when it came to commuting during an extremely challenging time.

“We continue to look for ways to support our local NHS staff and key workers in Hull and want to thank our partners at the Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull City Council and Viavan for their help in launching the initiative.”

 Councillor Dean Kirk, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for highways and transport, said:

“At a time of unprecedented pressure on the NHS and a reduction in conventional bus services, Stagecoach Connect provided a lifeline for hospital staff in Hull, ensuring these essential key workers were able to get to and from work in a safe and timely manner

“Feedback has been very positive, and anecdotal evidence suggests the shuttle was used by many healthcare workers who may not usually travel on buses, and who would welcome a service to and from hospital.

“This presents an opportunity to get more people using public transport, supporting our ongoing efforts to reduce traffic in the city as part of our Hull 2030 Carbon Neutral Strategy.”

“Via is thrilled that Stagecoach East Midlands was recognized for its leadership in innovative transportation at this year’s UK Bus and Coach Awards. Stagecoach Connect is a prime example of how tech-enabled, on-demand transportation services can be scaled quickly to support essential workers and grow to keep a community thriving,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of Europe at Via.