New bus travel app arrives

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Social distancing on buses is not easy, but an app may help

myTrip is a new app for smartphones set to aid social distancing on buses and improve customer confidence in public transport services. Compass Travel (who operate in Sussex, but not locally) has partnered with UK technology company, Passenger, to provide bus users with increased confidence ahead of travelling.

Passenger’s new mobile app, myTrip, features live information on bus passenger levels, helping improve customer confidence in the ability to safely social distance on board – even before stepping out of their front door – and myTrip was set to launch on all Compass Travel routes in Sussex this Wednesday, October 7.

Through the myTrip app, passengers using Compass Travel buses can purchase tickets for bus routes in Sussex and Surrey using cashless options, as well as view real-time information on bus locations – minimising time spent standing in queues. The app can also share real-time occupancy levels submitted by bus passengers.

Tom Quay, CEO at Passenger, explains why an extra layer of confidence in bus travel is important right now: “With almost a third of the adult population without regular access to a car [2018 National Travel Survey], public transport is essential for work, education and independence. Finding ways to safely return to normality as we learn to live with Covid-19 is a big task for public transport operators and will impact on how quickly the economy recovers.

Restoring public confidence

“Knowing how crucial public transport is to the economy and how important safety is to public transport users, we quickly began developing the app during lockdown. Our ambition is to provide bus users with a simple way to access safety advice and capacity information for the buses they want to catch, restoring confidence in public transport, particularly as we head into an uncertain winter.

“We hope that our new platform will empower the public to get back on buses, armed with trustworthy and reliable information that they will have a safe journey from A to B.”

myTrip is available to download from the app store for iOS and Android’s play store now and was to be rolled out for use on all Compass Travel routes from Wednesday, October 7. Please visit mytrip.discoverpassenger.com to find out more.

[Editor’s note: It is possible this app, or something similar, may become available on local bus services not run by Compass, but (as with the government’s “test and trace” system) it begs the question of how many who cannot afford, or have access to, a car can afford costly smart phones either which can handle apps.

My £5 Nokia phone cannot handle apps, or emails – just texts and phone calls – and I don’t have a car (like almost a third of the population we are told above) – and too many assumptions are being made in this Covid-19 crisis about what works for everyone – but perhaps those in government and elsewhere don’t really care]

Source: Compass Travel press release

Image Credits: J. Minter .

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