A new Bee Network app that puts real-time bus, tram and train travel information at customers’ fingertips for the first time – and allows them to buy combined bus and tram tickets that are 20% cheaper – has gone live.
It comes ahead of the launch of Greater Manchester’s first locally controlled bus services in nearly 40 years taking to the roads on Sunday.
Bus franchising signifies the start of the Bee Network – Greater Manchester’s plan for an integrated, transport network similar to London’s Oyster scheme – and is the first step in reversing decades-long decline in bus use, with the recently published GM Bus Strategy setting out how the city-region aims to deliver 50 million more bus journeys each year by the end of the decade.
Ahead of services starting on Sunday, customers can now download the new Bee Network app or visit the new website, where they can get access to live departure times, see where their nearest bus or tram stop is or rate their journey.
Passenger feedback from the Rate Your Journey feature will be key to making bus services accountable to the travelling public in Greater Manchester for the first time in decades. Customer focused performance targets – including punctuality and reliability of services and levels of customer complaints – will sit at the heart of the operators’ contracts and impact what they get paid.
Once services start on 24 September, the new app will also be the home of the new AnyBus + tram ticket that makes travel 20% cheaper.
“This is a real milestone for the Bee Network coming less than a week before the first phase of bus franchising begins,” says Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, “It’s a taste of how, under this new system, customers will have a much better travelling experience, with their wants and needs coming first and foremost at all times. Our new app and website bring passenger travel in Greater Manchester firmly into the 21st century, with timetables, tickets and live updates literally at people’s fingertips.”