First in Manchester have launched a new service across the city which besides providing customers with free wif will also give real time information on arrivals and departures.
Initially announced as part of the recent “Catch the Bus Week” celebrations, the smarter travel package was officially launched at Shudehill Interchange today.
Bus users have previously been able to use their pc, tablet or smartphone to get timetable information but from today will now be able to see up to date, real time, next bus information using First’s new simpler website or via the existing First Bus App.
First have also launched free, 4G Wi-Fi on the vast majority of its busesacross Greater Manchester. Customers simply connect with the First Wi-Fi facility via their settings menu, accept the terms and conditions and they are up and running to check news, sport, get up to date with friends on social media as well as journey planning.
The latest initiative represents an investment of over £1.5m by First and follows the introduction of mobile ticketing across Manchester last year allowing customers to buy their ticket directly via their smart phone.
The new technology will also provide valuable data for First to plan journeys and timetables and provide improved reliability for customers. It is hoped that by making the bus more accessible, more reliable and more attractive such as through free Wi-Fi, First can encourage even more people to use the bus which plays such an important role connecting people across the region.
Councillor Andrew Fender, TfGMc chair, said: “First’s new offer of free wifi and real time information is a boost for customers who use their buses across Greater Manchester. We recently launched free wifi on our Manchester City centre Metroshuttle buses and Metrolink trams and we have found that technical advancements are at the core of encouraging people to make more public transport journeys.”
Adrian Worsfold, Business Manager for First in Manchester added, “We’re delighted to launch this new, smarter travel package for our customers today. This investment provides real-time information for our customers as well as making our services more convenient and easier to use. I’m sure these new products will be welcomed by customers and attract even more people to using First buses.”
*Free Wi-Fi will be available on 80% of all First’s commercial services (buses such as dedicated yellow school bus services excluded)
**Customers can enjoy up to an hour of free Wi-Fi twice per day. Data limit of 25mb per session.