Lockdown changed a lot of things for a lot of people in the UK. At Passenger, we experienced initial highs and lows, then acceptance, then curiosity. If everything we accepted as ‘normal’ could be turned on its head so quickly, had being locked down given us a type of freedom? As a team and as a part of the transport industry, perhaps we had been given the chance to come together despite physically being kept apart.
A UK-wide lockdown and pandemic was not how we had foreseen spending the majority of 2020, but at the epicentre of so much change, we found ourselves invigorated. We’ve directly tackled the challenges thrown at the bus industry, asking “How can we help?”. As a result, we’ve embarked on a new adventure with many more operators joining us on our journey.
We’ve launched myTrip – a national app solution at an affordable price for smaller bus operators to add mobile ticketing and live bus tracking to their customer experience. myTrip gives users the tools they need to travel with confidence: with their tickets, safety information and live bus locations all in the palm of their hands. Any smaller operator in the UK is eligible to get on board with myTrip and there are even more benefits – such as automatic BODS updates and easy-to-use, intuitive customer service software.
Through one app, bus operators across the UK can start their own digital journey on a purpose-built platform to help support and encourage safe bus travel.
Bringing shared transport to the forefront of the UK’s travel infrastructure is a huge challenge. However, helping build the future that we want to live in, where sustainable, shared transport is the first choice for people on the move, is a critical and crucial goal. If we can be bold and begin to change and reform the systems we had become used to, we can start to craft a future with safer streets, cleaner air, better societal equality and smarter allocation of shared resources.
Passenger CTO Dave Hulbert explains “Access to public transport is crucial to the economy and safety is a critical factor to public transport users. myTrip is a simple way to access current advice and capacity information for buses, restoring confidence in public transport and empowering the public to get back on buses in a way that is safe and secure”.
Lockdown made us become better neighbours and brought communities closer together. People embraced ‘slow living’ hobbies – bread baking and growing veg have surfaced in the Passenger team – and others developed a newfound appreciation of how our lives could be with significantly less traffic on the roads and now actively advocate for changes in the way that we move around. Rather than pining for the past, we want to harness the momentum of these positive changes as we move forward.
Like everyone, the biggest challenges we now face are navigating the impact of Covid-19, continuing to serve our customers to the best of our abilities and ensuring that operators have the tools they need to support and communicate with their customers safely and effectively.
Now, as we look past lockdown to what the future brings for shared public transport in the UK, we remain focused by reflecting on one of our core values – collaboration and teamwork. By working together we can build a better world – driving change, demanding better and demonstrating that building a fairer world for everyone is possible.