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03 Oct 2013
Transport group Stagecoach has launched a new scheme which allows bus passengers in Cambridge to obtain timetable information direct to their smartphones.
The project – which is now live across selected routes in Cambridge – enables bus users in the area to access scheduled timetable information by using their smartphone to scan information tags and codes on bus stop displays.
Customers simply hold their smartphone over the NFC (Near Field Communication) information tag or scan the Quick Response (QR) code at the bus stop to access timetable information - which will become available on their phone - for that particular stop.
The new scheme will make it even easier to access bus information and is a further demonstration of Stagecoach’s commitment to delivering greater convenience for its customers through the use of new technology.
An initial 34 bus and Park & Ride stops in Cambridge have been fitted with a sticker containing an NFC tag and QR code. NFC technology essentially transmits information to NFC-enabled devices such as some smartphones while QR codes work in a similar way to a bar code and can be scanned by a smartphone to access data.
Alistair Smith, Stagecoach Group Director of Commercial and IT, said: “We know our customers have busy lives and we are working hard to deliver convenient and simple ways for our passengers to access service information and buy tickets. We are introducing smarter ticketing at our bus companies across the UK, and we are pleased to have launched this latest pilot in Cambridgeshire which makes it even easier for our customers to access bus timetables.
“New technology will continue to play an important role in our future projects and we look forward to attracting even more people on to our greener, smarter bus services.”
Stagecoach has worked closely with Connecthings, a leader in NFC tag management systems, to deliver the project.
Damaris Homo, Connecthings UK Business Development Manager commented: “To manage the delivery of Transport Information is essential to ensure that people access the comprehensive information where and when they need it, and Connecthings is very proud to accompany Stagecoach in its ambition to enhance passengers’ experience trough using cutting edge technologies.”
Stagecoach East Managing Director Andy Campbell added: “This is good news for our customers and is another step towards improving the information we are able to provide to bus passengers. We hope people will take advantage of this new option to help them find out more about their local bus services.”
In May 2012, Stagecoach launched the UK’s first Government-standard commercial deployment of mobile contactless transport ticketing in Cambridgeshire. The trial, which is still on-going, enables a small cross section of bus users to receive, store and validate their bus tickets using their mobile phone.
Stagecoach Group announced in July that it is making a multi-million pound investment in a nationwide automatic vehicle location system for its 7,000-strong regional bus fleet in the UK.
Stagecoach has also introduced StagecoachSmart travel cards at almost all of its bus companies in England as well as its South West Trains and East Midlands Trains rail companies and on Sheffield Supertram. The Group was also the first major bus operator to accept concessionary smartcard transactions on every one of its buses outside London. More than 200million journeys are now made a year on Stagecoach buses using smartcards.
For further information on Stagecoach UK Bus visit www.stagecoachbus.com.