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First exits real-time system


06 July 2018

The South East Scotland’s real-time bus information  website and app has been closed down following bus operator First Scotland East’s withdrawal from the system. Information will, however, continue to be communicated to the public through the hundreds of public information screens in places such as public buildings and shopping centres.   

The real-time information (RTI) system was developed for SEStran, the South East Scotland regional transport partnership, by INEO.

First’s withdrawal follows the operator’s installation of new Ticketer ticket machines on its buses.  The operator will continue providing real-time information via its own website and into Traveline but the feed to the SEStran ?system ceased on 31 May.

The SEStran bustracker website and app have been closed down to “help manage costs”. Jim Grieve, SEStran’s head of programmes, said they had seen little use, with more people using the Traveline Scotland app, which was more comprehensive.  

SEStran’s priority is the circa 260 real-time information screens located in places such as hospitals, shopping malls, libraries, and council headquarters. These continue to provide real-time information for most operators but will only provide scheduled information about First’s services. Grieve said SEStran was still working to ensure information from some smaller operators was displayed on the screens. 

SEStran has ruled out using Traveline to supply RTI data to the screens on cost grounds. Instead, the long-term plan is for real-time information to be supplied from a new content management system being procured by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Lisa Freeman, SEStran’s strategy and projects officer, told the board last month: “For the medium- to long-term SEStran is currently working with City of Edinburgh colleagues on the potential for partnership working as they develop a new real-time passenger information content management system with the aim of providing a new improved public-facing system for street signage in Edinburgh and the wider SEStran region, which would include the regional screen system.”

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