Bulwell bus routes provider adds real-time info its app and website

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Bus operator Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is celebrating the launch of real-time bus fare information in its highly-rated mobile app and website.

For the first time, passengers in NCT areas like Bulwell and Highbury Vale can now find out how much their journey will cost and select the correct ticket from the NCT app before catching the bus.

According to Transport Focus, the independent watchdog representing the interests of Britain’s rail, bus and tram passengers in England (outside of London), 33 per cent of non-users — people who don’t know much about their local bus services — would like to know what the bus fare is going to be before boarding.

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The app update, developed with NCT’s digital technology partner, Passenger, will address this by making information about tickets that can be purchased on the bus and as mobile tickets available to customers.

Bulwell bus passengers can now check fares and times in real time on the NCT app on their phones and laptops. Photo: Helen BoydBulwell bus passengers can now check fares and times in real time on the NCT app on their phones and laptops. Photo: Helen Boyd
Bulwell bus passengers can now check fares and times in real time on the NCT app on their phones and laptops. Photo: Helen Boyd

Mobile tickets can already be purchased instantly for immediate travel.

The project is the first to use the bus company’s new fares dataset, made available to the public as part of the national Bus Open Data Service.

The service, in development since 2019 by the Department for Transport (DfT) in England, was commissioned following the Bus Services Act in 2017.

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It was designed to stimulate innovation and grow passenger numbers by making local bus services easier to understand.

The new app feature is live nowThe new app feature is live now
The new app feature is live now

NCT is one of five strategic operator partners across the UK, launching the new fares feature, which began this week.

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Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT head of marketing and projects said, "We’re delighted to be involved in this exciting project.

"This really has been a collaborative project, not just with Passenger, but with the DfT and other bus companies too.

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“We’ve been working hard over the last few years to implement the processes that enable us to make our data available, so it’s great to see the investment bear fruit in this way for our customers — especially those who haven’t travelled with us yet.

"It is a ground-breaking project, and we’re delighted to be leading the way in attracting more people to catch the bus".

The app update is based on the currently available data.

As the Bus Open Data Service evolves, more complex ticket products, such as contactless fares — calculated later and 'capped' based on how many journeys have been taken within a specific period of time — may be included.

Tom Quay, chief executive of Passenger, commented: "The introduction of fare information to the app, and simultaneously on the operator’s website, is a huge milestone.

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“NCT is one of the first bus networks in the UK to benefit from this innovation, which has been developed in partnership with public and private sector stakeholders.

"The team at NCT have provided fantastic support as our team has developed both the consumer-facing app updates and a suite of tools that ensure the information being shown to customers is as accurate as possible.

"As we break down the traditional barriers, trying the bus for the first time has never been easier.”

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