New app function allowing wheelchair users in Aberdeen to track accessible spaces on First buses gains praise
Disability Equality Scotland has praised national bus operator First Bus for fast-tracking technology which will enable wheelchair users in Aberdeen to track accessible spaces on their local bus services in ‘real-time’.
The mobile app update, available now, enables customers across Aberdeen to view available wheelchair spaces across its fleet. This important innovation makes bus travel easier by tracking wheelchair capacity through an icon that moves across a virtual map. The update forms part of a fast-tracked investment in the app which has seen First become the first UK bus operator to not only allow bus passengers to live track the location of their next bus, but also show its capacity in ‘real time’.
Emma Scott, Operations Manager at Disability Equality Scotland explained why this is such a welcome improvement for wheelchair users in the area, “We welcome the fast-tracking of the app which will give wheelchair users more confidence to use public transport during these uncertain times. By giving wheelchair users this information in an inclusive and accessible way, it allows them to make decisions about whether to wait or find an alternative route.”
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director of First Bus in Scotland, said “We are really proud to have been able to fast-track our recent app updates to ensure safe, informed travel during these difficult times. Our buses provide an essential service for our customers and we are doing all we can to support them. The app update is aligned with our longstanding pledge to improve the bus experience for our disabled passengers.”
To find out more about what First Bus is doing to support customers during Covid-19, visit https://www.firstbus.co.uk/help-and-support/coronavirus-information
If customers are exempt from Government face covering guidelines, First Bus have journey assistance cards available to download from https://www.firstbus.co.uk/help-and-support/extra-help-travel.
First Bus App
The app update is available now in Apple and Android app stores. Dependent on individual phone user settings, the app may automatically update or require the phone user to manually select to update to the latest version 4.8.
The app update is available to all First Bus app users in the UK and any customers downloading the app for the first time will automatically have the wheelchair space availability functionality.
The live capacity functionality has been made possible by First Bus’s new passenger counting functionality, announced at the end of May following a close working partnership with ticketing system, Ticketer. Data from this system feeds directly to the First Bus app in real time.