Hot on the heels of the Government’s announcement that face coverings will be made compulsory on public transport in England from June 15th, Ruddington’s main bus operator has added a nifty new safety feature to its live online bus tracking. It will let passengers check in advance how busy or quiet their bus may be, so they can plan ahead.
In future, if you need to make a journey on a Green 10 to or from the city, but the specific bus you catch isn’t critical, you can choose a quieter one for improved safety whilst ever catching the COVID-19 Coronavirus remains a risk.
Available now on the Nottingham City Transport website – and arriving soon on the NCTX Buses app – clicking on a bus icon on the map brings up additional information about the bus including its capacity and features, such as Wi-Fi and USB chargers.
The capacity information is initially being collected from customers, who are encouraged to help each other – with those on the bus updating the capacity details in real time so those who are looking to travel can see how quiet or busy the bus may be. In future updates, the information will be supported using historic and real-time passenger counting data from the ticket machines on buses, too. An illustration of how this looks on the NCTX website can be seen below.
Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT Marketing Manager says: “Alongside social distancing measures introduced on our buses and the Safer Travel Guidance we published to customers last month, this new feature helps passengers plan their journeys and travel safely with NCT”.
NCT’s long term digital partner, Passenger, has developed this new feature and is working with other bus operators and ticket machine suppliers on enhancing the information provided to customers. Its CEO Tom Quay adds: “Due to physical distancing requirements, we had to quickly find ways to deliver information on vehicle occupancy to those making essential journeys. We’ve been able to build on our existing technology to merge information from multiple sources including crowdsourced data from customers themselves. This combination will give the most accurate indication possible of whether a bus is at capacity. It’s been great to work with NCT and the industry as a whole to respond to the challenge. Working together, we can ensure that members of the public can travel safely and confidently”.
‘Capacity Checker’ also provides accessibility improvements, with details on whether the wheelchair bay is available or not on the bus published, to assist customers with planning their journeys.
Further details about Capacity Checker and a ‘how to’ guide are available at www.nctx.co.uk/capacitychecker