First encourages social distancing

First Bus is introducing measures to ensure social distancing guidelines on public transport can be adhered to across its bus fleet. It believes this should give customers further reassurance about the safety of bus travel.

The new measures include a passenger counting facility. Passengers will be clearly directed to only use seats that are at an appropriate distance from each other. This necessary step to ensure that buses are safe for everyone will reduce the capacity of each bus by over 75% and seats will be clearly marked on all First Bus’s vehicles by 25 May.

Over the next few days there will be a facility added to the Ticketer machine on each bus allowing drivers to count passengers on and off and which advises them what, if any, available capacity remains. Where a bus is full, the driver will show a “SORRY BUS FULL” display on the destination screen. This passenger counting functionality will have been delivered by Ticketer in less than two weeks since conversations began.

Dave Lynch, Chief Information Officer of FirstGroup, said “Since the Government’s announcements last week, we have been working round the clock to find ways to innovate so that on our buses we can ensure safe, socially distanced space for our passengers. We are immensely proud that we have been able to develop this new system so quickly with Ticketer, empowering our drivers to be able to manage the capacity of each bus. We fully support the Government’s guidelines and urge passengers to only travel if their journey is essential.”


John Clarfelt, CEO of Ticketer, added: “We are once again delighted to be working closely with First Bus in developing this ground-breaking technology which will be so vital for drivers as the numbers of passengers using buses over the coming weeks increases.”

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