Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Travelshops and bus stations in Stockport and Oldham will be taking part in a paperless timetable pilot, which will see traditional bus timetables replaced with digital QR codes in the two shops.
From Wednesday 2 June, instead of picking up a traditional paper timetable, passengers will be able to use their smartphone to scan the appropriate QR code which will be displayed in store and at stations, which will take them to a TfGM web page showing information about their service. The initial trial will run until 30 September. TfGM says the pilot has been introduced in response to challenges seen throughout the coronavirus pandemic, where frequent changes to bus services have made it difficult to provide up-to-date information through traditional printed timetables. The paperless trial will give customers the confidence that they are using the most accurate service information, allowing them to plan their journeys in advance.
TfGM Customer Director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “While the pandemic and associated government guidance have presented challenges, it has also been an opportunity to reassess how we can best provide information to our customers, as well as a chance to innovate and make use of new technologies. “The paperless timetable pilot will mean that, as we welcome more people back on to our public transport network, customers can access the most accurate information from our travel shops and bus stations, making their return as smooth and stress-free as possible. It will also be a more sustainable method of delivering customer information, substantially reducing paper waste. The pilot will be conducted in two locations and customer usage data and anecdotal feedback will be monitored closely throughout the trial in order to gauge success or changes needed before a roll-out to all travel shops is considered.”
TfGM said that Travelshop representatives will be on hand to explain the new system to any customers that need additional support, and where a customer does not have a smartphone,
paper timetables will be printed upon request.
A similar pilot was trialled towards the end of 2020 on 46 bus stop locations across the city-region. These QR codes took customers to the TfGM website where they could view live information on their next service.