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Zipabout to work with CPT members to enhance bus services

Zipabout is working with CPT members to provide free digital tools that will help to drive bus passenger numbers.
October 6, 2022

Zipabout is working with CPT members to provide free digital tools that will help drive up bus passenger numbers and make bus scheduling more efficient across the UK. As part of trials funded by the Department for Transport, CPT members will be able to access Zipabout’s unique technology to provide their passengers with accurate and up-to-date information on their journeys in real-time, including disruption and routing, through the channels they already use – Messenger, WhatsApp and SMS.

Operators will also be able to use Zipabout’s Incentives to Travel feature which encourages sustainable behavioural change through loyalty and reward schemes. Using geotargeting, but WITHOUT tracking people’s locations or sharing their personal information, transport companies can directly reward customers at their destination for their journey choices - for instance with a free cup of coffee as a thank you for taking the bus instead of driving.

Alex Froom, Zipabout CEO, said:

“It’s great to have the opportunity to work with CPT members on this pilot. Zipabout already provides services to UK rail. By working with CPT’s smaller bus operators across the country, we will grow our understanding of bus customer behaviour. That in turn will improve the services we provide to operators and local authorities.

“In return, we’ll give those smaller bus companies the tools to provide their passengers with a first-class customer experience. Operators don’t need to have an app or even a website because Zipabout works using existing messaging services.

“Unlike many, we also share data and insights with our partners so bus operators can better inform their network planning and integrate services with train services, as well as scooters and hire bikes.”

Graham Vidler, Chief Executive of the CPT, said:

“We know that two in three car drivers would like to use public transport. And in our current cost of living crisis, public transport is an even better-value option for travel now. But some people lack confidence in using public transport - they worry about whether their bus will turn up.

“This pilot scheme that Zipabout are offering to CPT members will give bus customers the information they personally need delivered straight to their phone. This is good for bus passengers and so will help operators increase the number of customers.

“It’s also good news for the climate – don’t forget that taking the bus instead of driving just once a month will help the UK reach its decarbonisation goals.

The pilot scheme forms part of Zipabout’s work with the DfT and Oxfordshire County Council to develop a network-wide model for buses. This uses the DfT’s Bus Open Data Service, integrating demand with service performance and communicating directly to bus passengers in real time. In simple terms, Zipabout helps bus companies proactively notify their passengers directly if a bus is running late, how late it will be, what’s disrupting it and what the traffic is like on the road. It also incorporates other modes of transport where appropriate so passengers can plan an end-to-end journey. By taking part in this trial, Zipabout and CPT members are optimising capacity and operations across the UK, as well as enhancing customer loyalty and giving passengers the reliable bus network they need.

If you’re a CPT member and would like to find out more about taking part in the trials, contact h.kirkcaldy@zipabout.com.