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New ‘smart’ bus service trialled in London

30 May 2017 #Bus and Coach #News #TNB News

A company that launched an app to help commuters get the best out of the UK’s transport system is planning to introduce its own ‘smart’ bus service that responds to traffic conditions and can get to places where traditional buses cannot. 

Citymapper has already trialled its 30-seater Smartbus on a short, circular service in and around Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge in London. Although this area is already well served by buses and other transport links, Citymapper will be experimenting with other routes that may be more challenging for London’s existing services. 

The Citymapper Smartbus is painted green instead of the traditional red and will have additional features designed to make life easier for commuters, including USB charging points and screens displaying maps of the route.  

Passengers can view the route and see the buses move around the map in real-time. Predicted arrival times will appear on bus-stop departure boards and drivers will have the use of an in-cab tablet allowing them to see where the other vehicles on the route are and regulate the service accordingly.  

In the long-term the company has plans to offer bus routes that stop at regular points, but adjust their route according to traffic conditions, and that also interact by telling individual passengers when to get off. 

A spokesperson for Citymapper said, “When we studied the existing public transit routes, we realised that they don’t always serve people best, nor evolve quickly enough to accommodate changes in the city.  

We also feel buses haven’t evolved enough. They still roam around cities utilising old systems of operations and inefficient technology. If we’re going to solve urgent problems of congestion and infrastructure, we need buses to improve, to operate smarter. In the era of smartphones we can have responsive buses that react to real-time needs.”

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