Oxfordshire’s bus passengers will be the first in the country to benefit from personalised real-time journey updates, helping them to travel safely as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. Our service will tell passengers about disruption and how busy their journey is likely to be, as well as providing alternative travel options. Passengers will be able to access the service via Messenger in the coming weeks. The project has been funded by an Innovate UK grant of nearly £50,000 and will be delivered in collaboration with Oxontime, a bus information service run by independent bus operators and Oxfordshire County Council.
Alex Froom, Chief Product Officer and Zipabout Co-founder, said:
“As people emerge from lockdown and begin returning to work, transport operators and local authorities will need to provide accurate, timely travel information across all services to ensure the safety of passengers. We have been delivering personalised communication to rail passengers for years and now we’re delighted to begin adding bus, tram and metro support to our multi-modal service.”
Cllr Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment at Oxfordshire County Council said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in the next level of personalised messaging to bus users. The service has been successfully applied on trains and this next step will open up the benefits to many more users and hopefully be a key tool to enabling people to use buses safely through the next phases in the Covid-19 response. We hope that by working with Zipabout, DFT, Oxontime and partners that this will provide a benchmark for the rest of the UK.”
Transport operators can now access WhatsApp and Messenger for free to communicate with passengers, thanks to launch of new service Journey Alerts.
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