iDBUS, SNCF’s premium longdistance coach service is launching a new route between London, Brussels and Amsterdam.
The coaching arm of the French state-owned rail operator said the move forms part of a larger development strategy focusing on England, which is one of its “high-priority” markets.
The one daily return journey will start operating on April 28. Interestingly, this is the first iDBUS route without any stop in France.
The operator is also promising a number of improvements to its offering, which will start to be introduced from the end of April.
The real-time customer information system, already installed in the on-board screens, will be made available online. On that note, a mobile version of the website idbus.co.uk will be accessible on smartphones in June. The site will allow customers to make reservations from their phone, particularly useful for last-minute sales, and to easily get hold of information on the location of sales points and iDBUS stops. The mobile website will be the first of the coach sector to offer real-time information.
The firm’s free on-board WiFi is also being upgraded with greater bandwidth. The service is available in all countries served.
A greater number of payment options are to be introduced too. From May it will be possible to pay with Maestro on the firm’s website.
To make boarding easier, passengers will no longer need to print out their electronic ticket. Instead, they can just show their iDBUS ‘Captain’ (driver) a piece of identification.
iDBUS is developing its distribution network across the city of London, making it possible to make coach bookings in Voyages SNCF Travel Center (Piccadilly) and in St Christopher’s Village Hostel at London Bridge.
In an effort to target small groups, iDBUS is introducing a special rate for parties of 10 or more, offering discounts of 20 – 30%. The new offering adds to iDBUS’ existing ‘Group Deal’ for parties of four to nine, which offers a fourth seat free for every three seats purchased.