General

Published: April 14, 2020 | Updated: April 14, 2020

Biz News update: Passenger joins with Ticketer to help bus users and Keeping Dorset Afloat

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Companies work together to help bus users during crisis

Transport technology companies Passenger and Ticketer have joined forces to ensure UK bus operators are able to deliver the most accurate information possible for passengers during the coronavirus crisis.

According to Ticketer, buses are transporting just over a tenth – 11 per cent – of their usual traveller numbers.

The passengers include key workers, their children and those who require public transport to travel to shops and medical appointments.

To help bus users over the coming weeks, Ticketer, a smart ticketing systems supplier, and Bournemouth-based Passenger, the UK’s top-rated public transport app provider, will roll out Passenger’s Live Buses capability to all its operator customers.

Live vehicle tracking on Passenger apps and websites will show travellers exactly where buses are on interactive maps, as operators continue to adjust timetables around key worker needs.

Tom Quay, Passenger’s Chief Executive Officer, pictured left, said that after seeing the challenges operators face in keeping frequently changing timetable information up-to-date, the teams at Passenger and Ticketer wanted to help.

By offering Live Buses to operators, they hope to help keep the country moving at this difficult time, he added.

Tom said: “Scheduler teams are under huge pressure to make complex timetable adjustments and get the data published into every IT system that needs it.

“Given the unprecedented number of changes taking place, operators simply cannot update their realtime systems quickly enough.

“It is imperative that travellers can rely on getting the most accurate information possible.

“Showing the physical location of a bus in apps and websites is the best way to provide confidence that the bus is on its way, for anyone who has to travel”.

Ticketer will help automate the process by enabling vehicle monitoring feeds for operators who would otherwise use a combination of timetable data and bus stop monitoring to update their feeds.

John Clarfelt, Chief Executive Officer at Ticketer, said: “We are delighted to work with our industry colleagues at Passenger to make this happen.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important for key industry alliances to form, to work together to put the needs of our operators first.

“Allowing operators to show bus locations on their apps will help key workers and those making essential journeys during these difficult times.”

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New digital project to support Dorset businesses

Poole-based marketing and business development agency Goose Bay has launched a new digital initiative to support local businesses and freelancers.

Keeping Dorset Afloat has started sharing offers and promotions on its dedicated Instagram account for Dorset’s local businesses and freelancers needing help.

In under two weeks, the team has already collaborated with over 50 independent businesses.

They range from manufacturers to marketing agencies.

The promotions include:

  • Jurassic Coast Farm Shop and Norden Farm Shop offering discounts on food deliveries.
  • Mini Mind Health offering free advice and support online for those struggling to cope.
  • Digital Storm offering businesses rates on its services, helping businesses in Dorset get online.

Izzie Sully, of Goose Bay Ltd, pictured left, said: “We set up Keeping Dorset Afloat a few weeks ago as we saw local businesses were starting to struggle with trade in the wake of the Covid-19 health crisis.

“As local residents ourselves we thought it would be useful to have one simple directory of all the businesses still open and trading through these challenging times.

“It’s our way of giving something small back to the amazing community we love living in.”

To support the project, visit Keeping Dorset Afloat on Instagram to view the latest posts. Any small local business wishing to get involved can message the team via the Instagram page.