Travel technology specialist Passenger is celebrating the launch of a new real-time bus fare information function in its white-label mobile app product, which is used by over 35 UK operators to sell tickets and provide travel information. Now for the first time, Passenger says that app users will be able to find out how much their journey will cost before catching the bus. The new capability has been launched with Brighton & Hove Buses, Metrobus in Surrey, Warrington’s Own Buses, Reading Buses and subsidiary Thames Valley Buses, and Nottingham City Transport.
Passenger has introduced the feature to help encourage non-users to travel, adding that one survey by Transport Focus found that 33% of non-users would like to know what the bus fare is going to be before boarding.
The app update aims to address this by making information available to customers about tickets that can be purchased on the bus from the driver or as mobile tickets from a smartphone. Passenger believes the project is the first to use the NeTEx fares dataset, made available to the public as part of the national Bus Open Data Service (BODS).
The company says its latest update is the culmination of several Passenger software updates in recent months, including tools for operators to preview their fares data before publishing, tools which also support operators in becoming BODS compliant by bringing the data to life.
CEO of Passenger Tom Quay commented: “The introduction of fare information to the Passenger app, and simultaneously to operator websites, is a huge milestone. When the Department of Transport announced it was adopting the NeTEx standard for its Bus Open Data Service, it was widely unknown in the UK. We’ve seen first-hand how much time and effort operators have invested in getting to this stage with BODS, so we’re delighted to be delivering a return on that — and one that has the potential to be game-changing for customers. As we break down the traditional barriers, trying the bus for the first time has never been easier.”
Passenger points out that the app update is based on the currently available data, and says that as the Bus Open Data Service evolves, more complex ticket products, such as time-based capped fares may also be included.
The update is being offered as a free addition to operators within their existing Passenger app license, and the company says it expects more operators to add the fares capability in the coming months. It will be hosting a webinar on 22 February for those interested in learning more.