London digital bus information service a success

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TfL unveils impressive figures for use of the digital services at bus stops

Transport for London (TfL) claims the new real time digital bus information service in London has been a great success, with nearly three quarters of a million searches per day online and on smartphones, and 10,000 requests per day for bus arrival information via text.

According to TfL, bus travel is at a 50 year high in the capital, with the London bus network now carrying almost 2.3 billion passengers a year on over 7,500 buses across 700 routes.

Real time bus information is available for all 19,500 bus stops across London. The new system is part of the Mayor of London’s aim to use digital technology to deliver more effective public services in the capital.

Access to the real time bus service information can be made via the TfL website, from a fixed computer or web enabled smartphone. After going to the TfL buses webpage for live bus information at buses, passengers then enter a bus route, postcode, street name or bus stop and view live bus arrival times, including bus destinations, for all services due in the next 30 minutes.

Passengers without a smartphone or access to the internet can simply text the bus stop code to 87287 for detailed bus information, at a 12p charge plus network rate.

New and improved countdown signs are also being installed which will replace all the existing 2,000 signs at bus stops, along with 500 new signs being installed at other key bus stops. All of the new signs have improved visibility for visually impaired passengers and will display more travel information than the old signs.

The Mayor’s director of digital London, Kulveer Ranger, said: “This brilliant new service has revolutionised bus travel for thousands of Londoners and is an example of how digital innovation can contribute to more effective public services. Our early figures are enormously encouraging and show passengers are genuinely benefiting from being able to predict exactly when their bus will arrive.”

Simon Reed, head of technical services group London Buses, said: “Work is also well under way to make our prediction data freely available for software developers early next year. This will enable developers to design their own smartphone applications, which will make it even easier for Londoners to find out exactly where their bus is.”