Reliable information regarding the crowdedness and cleanliness of buses is now a critical part of the defence against the spread of COVID-19.

Passenger is working at pace with Government and industry colleagues to find ways to give people making essential journeys on buses as much choice and control as possible when making their journey plans. Access to this information via our Enhanced Vehicle Information system will give people the confidence they need to safely return to using public transport.

Mobile apps are often used as the first step in a sustainable travel journey. Now, more than ever, passengers want to be able to plan their journey knowing that they have options to minimise risks to their health.

Digital tech is playing an important role in addressing the pandemic and working alongside public health priorities. Access to Covid-19 related information, including vehicle crowdedness and interior cleanliness, will give additional reassurance to passengers about the considerable efforts being made by the bus industry to deliver safe, socially distanced journeys, where they are necessary. 

Transport Secretary’s Grant Shapps reiterated this in his statement on coronavirus on 9 May.

“At a time when transport demand could quickly overwhelm capacity if users have no access to real-time travel information, it is crucial that we take advantage of the UK’s digital tech expertise. With the right mobile apps, people can find out which parts of the transport network are overcrowded. And avoid them!”

Passenger will shortly roll out its Enhanced Vehicle Information system to existing customers as an enhancement to its Live Buses feature – showing bus information such as WiFi and USB charging points. This new system is now being adapted at pace to surface additional information to passengers, to solve a problem we could have never anticipated existing just a few months ago. Passenger’s APIs are also available to operators to use in their own apps and digital services.

To achieve this Passenger’s data science team and software engineers will bring together complex data from a number of industry partners to create a clear picture for the public – operator data, vehicle location (SIRI-VM) data, ticket use information, disruptions alerts and our own crowdsourced feedback from thousands of end-users on mobile apps and web across the UK.

The safety of keyworker staff and passengers is a priority. We’re eager to roll this functionality out as widely as possible. Come and talk to us to find out more about how we can help get people safely back on to the buses through digital technology. Get in touch with Sarah [email protected] with any questions you might have.

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