Britain’s biggest bus operator has launched a new app which will save passengers time by providing mobile ticketing, better information and live bus tracking.
Stagecoach, which runs nearly one in four of the 32,000-plus buses in the UK outside London, has made a multi-million-pound investment in making bus travel easier.
The new Stagecoach Bus App is available free of charge for Apple and Android mobile phones.
But the company warned that urgent action is needed on worsening road congestion if the country's bus passengers are to get the full benefit of the new technology.
Through the app, Stagecoach will offer mobile ticketing on its local bus services for the first time, allowing customers to instantly buy and download tickets straight to their smartphone.
Mobile ticketing, offering Dayrider tickets is expected to be rolled out across South Wales in the coming months. Payments via the app can be made by PayPal, or via debit or credit card.
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.
Stagecoach in South Wales Managing Director Nigel Winter 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.
"Bus travel is changing rapidly. We've invested in new greener and more accessible buses in the past year, with free wifi and USB charging points. Smart ticketing and low bus fares in South Wales also mean there are big reasons to choose the bus.”
But Mr Winter added: "What our new app can't do is solve the growing problem of road congestion. We need local authorities and Welsh Government 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 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 at www.stagecoachbus.com 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.
Stagecoach in South Wales has equipped its entire local bus fleet with Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology which tracks vehicle location and reports progress in real-time. This is relayed to passengers via the company’s website and app.
The technology – installed in - is also being made available for local authorities to deliver real-time updates at bus stops throughout Cardiff and Newport.
Stagecoach in South Wales also continues to invest in other customer improvements. The company has invested more than £5.5 million in 35 brand new low-floor, single deck buses. In addition, smart ticketing is now available across the network with real time information displayed where available in Cardiff and Newport.
Further information on the new Stagecoach Bus App visit https://www.stagecoachbus.com/app
For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Stagecoach Bus App gives people even more time to finish what they’re doing before leaving for the bus stop.