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A customer using the new 'how many seats are left on my bus?' website feature
A customer using the new 'how many seats are left on my bus?' website feature

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New tools to help bus passengers prove a hit during COVID-19 crisis

Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, launched its new website in the middle of April and in just two months it has already managed to clock up one million page views, despite many people being unable to travel in that period due to lockdown.

The company’s buses have now returned to timetables that are similar to their pre-coronavirus times on weekdays, and special timetables on weekends, with some adjustments to evening frequencies as some leisure and entertainment venues are still closed. The 1st June timetable change included some service changes planned prior to the crisis and these have been adapted following feedback and changes in demand.

Customers who are returning to bus travel can benefit from improved information and a whole host of new and enhanced features on the website, which was developed by industry-leading provider Passenger.

The site allows customers to view live bus times and interactive maps, as well as giving them the ability to favourite bus stops, journeys and timetables for quick and easy access.

It also comes with an improved journey planner, simpler, built-in timetables and enhanced service updates, giving Go North East customers access to all the information they need to get from A to B.

In addition to this, Go North East has launched two new features that aid social distancing on its buses.

The company’s ‘When2Travel’ planning tool allows customers to look at journeys up to two weeks ahead, using a sophisticated prediction engine to forecast how quiet the bus will be on each journey and down to individual parts of the journey.

Customers can also check this on the day with live data thanks to the new ‘How many seats are left on my bus?’ feature which shows how quiet or busy the bus is in real-time.

The feature also shows if the bus is a single or double-decker, and if the bus has any other benefits such as free Wi-Fi and USB charging.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director at Go North East, said: “We launched our website back in April ahead of schedule to help key workers and those making essential journeys.

“Now, as shops and businesses start to reopen, more customers will see our much-improved website and the features it has, helping them make informed decisions and travel choices at these uncertain times.

“With enhanced cleaning regimes and new digital tools to help people find the best journeys, our buses are clean, safe and here for people when they need us.”

The company has also produced a helpful video for customers returning to bus travel to explain its special arrangements due to COVID-19, that can be viewed here.

To view Go North East’s website, visit www.gonortheast.co.uk.

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On the Go since 1913

Around 175,000 journeys are made on Go North East bus services every day to travel around this wonderful region. Travelling to work or education, to visit friends and family, to have a night out, or to visit one of the region's many tourist and leisure attractions.

For over 100 years, Go North East has connected the region's towns and villages with the cities of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland and currently operates across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and into Tees Valley.

Employing over 2,000 local people, with a fleet of almost 700 buses and coaches and an annual turnover of £100m, the company is the regional subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group plc, one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport.

Go North East
117 Queen Street
NE8 2UA Gateshead