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Bus seat reservations trial for Bristol


26 June 2020

Bus passengers in the Bristol area will be able to reserve a seat on socially-distanced bus services in a trial expected to be launched by First West of England this summer.  

Passengers will use an app to  pre-book a seat on a service. 

“Subject to the effectiveness of the pilot, the project has the potential to expand onto other routes across the network where demand is expected to be at its highest and capacity at a premium,” Peter Mann, the West of England Combined Authority’s head of strategic transport, told councillors. He said the trial was expected to launch in late-July.  

LTT understands FirstGroup’s current thinking is the reservation system will be offered on duplicate services – the additional services provided to facilitate social distancing on a busy bus route. The normal services on the route would remain open access. 

FirstGroup now displays ‘bus full’ signs on vehicle digital displays when their maximum social distanced capacity is reached. The message is currently being displayed at some point on the journey of about five per cent of services across First’s UK operations. This is likely to increase as ridership recovers.

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