Helping keep metro areas moving

Buses are a lifeline for many people living in rural Oxfordshire. But when Covid-19 struck, passengers weren’t just worrying if their bus was on its way; the real fear was that getting on it could be a very bad idea.

Updates on what was happening on the bus routes were already available to Oxfordshire’s bus passengers thanks to Oxontime, a bus information service run by independent bus operators with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC).

The operators and OCC knew that taking the guesswork out of bus travel was vital to keep people on the buses – and encourage new customers to choose bus travel. So they came to Zipabout.

We used the info on delays and disruption from the bus operators to make personalised journey updates available to all their passengers through Messenger. This had instant benefits for everyone, but the Covid-19 crisis has shown just how valuable it can be:

The impact

  • Interactions with passengers built up a clear picture of demand across the network – a brilliant way for operators to know what services to keep running
  • At the height of the crisis, the service let passengers dodge crowded buses, giving them the confidence to get back on board
  • It also let people identify themselves as key workers and give the reason for their journey – again a real help when planning service
“This innovative service has allowed Oxontime to lead the way in personalisation for bus-users.”
Cllr Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment at Oxfordshire County Council