In a bid to improve the overall passenger experience, and in line with its ongoing commitment to digitisation, First Bus has selected Future Platforms – award-winning experts in supplying enterprise apps and web solutions – to develop and evolve the mobile experience for its customers.

An award-winning agency with vast experience in delivering effective solutions that are designed to make lives better, Future Platforms will work with First Bus on a digital- and customer-first strategy that will assist in gaining crucial insight about its customers and will help them to deliver evolved and smarter mobile services.  In turn, this programme of work is anticipated to not only streamline operational efficiencies but also drive an uptake in usage and loyalty.

“Our work with First Bus is cemented in a mutual commitment to creating a better travel experience for passengers. With improved support and easier ticket purchasing options, passengers will benefit from a highly effective mobile solution which has been built with their first-to-last-mile needs right at the heart of the solution. We are proud to be working with First Bus and leading them through a digital transformation,” said Future Platforms’ Managing Director, Adam Croxen.

Significant change in the UK’s transportation sector is already happening: from the government’s recent pledge to enhance its spend on research and development to 2.4 per cent of the GDP by 2027 and announcement of the new £1.7 billion Transforming Cities fund which is set to improve transport connections within city regions, to the roll-out of innovative global transit payment systems by pioneers in the contactless technology and payments space.

Next gen vehicles, smart mobility services and intelligent solutions are all disrupting the transportation landscape, and in this always-on world, operators need to push their digital offerings into top gear if they are to stay in the race.

While the Department for Transport cited a 1.7% decline in local bus passenger journeys in the UK in the year ending June 2017, there is a compelling air of confidence that the UK’s bus sector can thrive again and beat its competitors in the race for passenger satisfaction. Indeed, complex rail fare structures, highly congested road systems with heightened localised pollution rates, and a rising cost in car ownership are all potential contributors to the revival of the UK’s bus sector.

Technology innovations such as real time planning, current network status checks, route finders and competitive pricing, mean that there is a wealth of information available to travellers. And with the number of mobile phone users expected to surpass the five billion mark by 2019, according to Statista, passengers have more choice than ever before, right at their fingertips. Transport operators are therefore looking to adapt their business models to offer a transformed experience, across the payments, information, automation and integration landscapes.

Taking this into account, along with an increasing need to establish a complete end-to-end passenger experience, Future Platforms will work hand-in-glove with First Bus to develop a valuable and effective mobile experience that is relevant in today’s information-everywhere world, and deliver a frictionless experience that guides the passenger through a seamless journey, from the first to last mile.

James Timperley, Director of Retail Development at First Bus said: “At First Bus we are committed to investing in new technology and we’re pleased to be working alongside Future Platforms as part of our ongoing commitment to develop and improve our customer-facing apps. The use of our mTickets app is exceeding expectations and continues to grow daily and so we are looking to evolve this app, with Future Platforms, as part of our ongoing commitment to make bus travel a convenient, simple and attractive experience for our customers.”