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29 Sep 2016
The new Stagecoach Bus app – available free of charge for Apple and Android mobile phones – offers a range of additional customer benefits, including improved journey information.
But the company warned that urgent action is needed on worsening road congestion if the bus passengers are to get the full benefit of the new technology.
The new app offers a simple journey planning tool which uses interactive maps and the smartphone GPS system to help customers identify their nearest bus stop and the most suitable bus service for their journey requirements. They can also find out information on journey length and available fare options.
Passengers can also access live running times via their smartphone to check the status of their journey before catching the bus – giving them more time to finish what they are doing before leaving for the bus stop.
In addition, the app enables customers to pinpoint their location during their journey, helping them determine where they are on the route at any one time, how far they are from their destination and when to get off the bus. This will be of particular benefit to those who are not regular bus users or people who may be visiting a new location and are unsure of the route the bus will take.
Also through the app, within the coming months Stagecoach North East plans to offer mobile ticketing on its local bus services for the first time, allowing customers to use one app to plan their journeys and instantly buy and download tickets straight to their smartphone. The move will provide an additional payment option for customers alongside existing smart ticketing and cash payments.
Steve Walker, Stagecoach North East managing director, said: “In today's fast-paced world, time is really precious. Our new app will make bus travel easier and give people more time to focus on the other important things in their lives.
"So whether you're a commuter heading to work, a student going to college, a family getting ready for a day out or you're meeting retired friends, live bus tracking means you have more time to yourself before leaving for the bus stop.
But he added: "What our new app can't do is solve the growing problem of road congestion. We need local authorities to take action because faster and more reliable bus journeys, fewer cars, and less pollution is better for everyone in our communities."
The Stagecoach Bus app is part of a major investment by the UK-wide company in its digital strategy which is transforming the journey experience for customers.
In December 2015, Stagecoach launched a transformational new responsive mobile website for its UK Bus division which features the UK’s first nationwide online bus planning service, lets passengers check live updates for their services and enables travel to be bought direct from smartphones.
At the same time, Stagecoach North East rolled out a new multi-operator smart card – “SmartZone” - which allows travel on buses operated by all three major bus companies in Sunderland, South Tyneside, Newcastle and North Tyneside, providing unlimited travel from less than £2 per day.
Over £13 million has been invested by the local bus operator in brand new buses across the North East in the last two years alone, including £5 million in Newcastle. With a further investment in the fleet planned as more buses are introduced for Newcastle in the coming months, the new app will make passenger travel even easier.