Mobile Ticketing Leads to Faster Boarding Times

First Bus boarding times experiment - cash vs m-ticketsFirst Bus

Research by First Manchester highlights that boarding the bus could be as much as 75 per cent quicker if customers switch from cash to mTickets – especially at busy bus stops.

On 6th October 2016, First Bus ran an experiment with volunteers to see how long it takes to load a bus with people paying by cash, and then the same number people boarding using their smartphone app. It took approximately 10.5 minutes with people paying by cash and 2.5 minutes with the app.

In light of high-profile congestion issues across the UK, First Manchester has now launched a major campaign to raise awareness of how it is transforming customer experiences through innovative new technology.

If passengers switch from paying fares by cash to paying via its mTickets app, then loading times, particularly at busy stops like bus stations and interchanges, could see a massive eight-minute reduction in loading time, representing some 75 per cent.

First Manchester said that if enough passengers make the switch, boarding times would become so much quicker that average journey times would reduce, despite the ever increasing congestion on the roads.

Head of Commercial at First Manchester, Ian Humphreys, told The North West Bus Blog: “Our research has demonstrated that converting customers from cash to mTickets or other forms of smart ticketing has a huge impact on boarding times, and will help us in the battle to speed up the bus, despite the very stark congestion issues that we face.

“We are determined to transform the experience for all our customers and I am delighted that technology is now able to deliver so many benefits for our passengers. The combination of journey planning, free wi-fi, real time information and mTickets, really does make the bus an increasingly attractive option for so many journey needs.”

The ‘catch the bus with less fuss’ campaign raises awareness of a range of simple to use technology that is helping First Manchester transform bus journeys for their passengers by implementing a vast array of technological features.

Key technology available for customers to use includes the First Travel App, allowing customers to track in real time the progress of their service, the First mTicket app, free onboard WiFi and an online Journey Planner facility which allows customers to plan their journeys, across all modes of public transport, not just First Bus services.

For more information about the technology that is helping customers use the bus, visit the ‘catch the bus with less fuss page on the First Bus website.

Tom Harrison

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