Stagecoach launches "busy bus" app to help Northamptonshire's passengers find a seat

Public transport preparing for more people travelling as town centre shops start to reopen

By Kevin Nicholls
Sunday, 14th June 2020, 3:00 pm

Northamptonshire's biggest bus operator is upgrading its smartphone app to tell passengers whether its buses are crowded or not.

Measures to maintain social distancing on board buses mean services are limited to carrying around 20 per cent of the normal number of travellers.

And overcrowding could become an issue as non-essential shops start to reopen in town centres around the county on Monday (June 15) — from when bus passengers will also be required to wear face coverings on board.

Passengers will need to wear face masks on Northamptonshire's buses from Monday. Photo: Getty Images

The “busy bus” tracker on the Stagecoach bus app will help pinpoint quieter services so passengers can plan journeys and find a seat.

Stagecoach say the app is now being rolled out to iOS and Android users and is planned to be fully in place by Thursday (18 June) via the app store and Google Play platforms.

The company's Interim Managing Director UK, Carla Stockton-Jones, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming more people back onto our buses as things start to open up around the county.

“We have already put a range of extra measures in place to make sure our customers feel confident in using our services, including strict cleaning regimes and social distancing measures, which we know are the biggest priorities for travellers.

Stagecoach passengers will be able to use an app to see which buses are quieter

"The launch of our new busy bus indicator is an extra step to give people an easy, at a glance guide on the best times to travel and to plan their journeys to avoid busier times.

“Buses continue to play a vital role in connecting people with work and leisure facilities.

"At a time when people across the country are starting to be reunited with friends and family, this investment in new technology will help to ensure that people can be completely prepared and confident in using our services.

Stagecoach issued a guide to staying safe on board .. although face coverings will be compulsory from next week

"The “busy bus” tracker will provide a regularly updated guide to how busy individual bus services are. Each service in the live map will be colour-coded, with quieter buses showing in green indicating ‘not too busy’. Customers can also see where their bus is on the map and when it will be arriving."

The average double-decker will have room for only 25 per cent of the normal number of passengers — 20 passengers instead of around 80 — and many routes are running less frequently than normal.

Travellers need to sit next to the window leaving seats behind and in front empty. Only one person can sit in a double seat, unless they are members of the same household.

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