West Yorkshire’s bus and train users are set to benefit from a programme of investment to improve travel information systems.
Today’s West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) Transport Committee has approved funding to replace and improve its yournextbus real-time information service, website improvements and smarter travel options.
Introduced 10 years ago, yournextbus provides passengers with real-time information, online or by text, about the departure time of the next bus from any of over 34,000 bus stops across West, South and North Yorkshire. Information is also provided by on-street displays at over 1,200 West Yorkshire stops.
The service responds to around 2.5 million requests for information from West Yorkshire passengers each month. In feedback about the service people said having live, up-to-the-minute information made them more likely to use buses. Work to update the service, approved at today’s meeting, will be carried out in partnership with South Yorkshire
Passenger Transport Executive and York Council.
Receiving a delegation from campaign group Talking Buses, the Committee agreed that next stop information on board buses was important for wide range of passengers, particularly people with impaired sight or hearing. WYCA will be urging bus operators to provide this service, and aiming to provide similar information through its stop displays.
Another key area of passenger information provision is the Metro website at www.wymetro.com. Last year the site delivered 27 million pages of information, which is double the figure from 2012 before the current site was introduced. Around sixty percent of these page views were through its mobile site, using phones and tablets.
Visit the Metro travel information website (opens in new window).
Today’s Transport Committee approved work to pave the way for an upgrade of the site. Improvements will include making the whole of the site accessible for mobile users and preparing for the anticipated rise in user numbers.
As a result of a successful joint £1.75m bid to Innovate UK, WYCA will also receive funding for work on its Smarter Travel Solution project, giving passengers access to an online, map-based, multi-modal journey planner that incorporates real-time travel and disruption information. It will also provide the option to book and pay for tickets, and provide feedback on the journey.
Deputy Chair of WYCA Transport Committee Cllr Eric Firth said:“Research tells us that up-to-date and reliable travel information encourages people to use buses and trains because it gives them more confidence in the public transport network.
“We already score highly on passenger information in market research but it is important that we continue to make improvements in response to that feedback as well as keeping abreast of technological developments that enable us to provide an even better service.”
WYCA Chair, Cllr Peter Box said: “One of the Combined Authority’s main objectives is delivering the good transport links across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region that connect people with job opportunities and generate a real northern powerhouse.
“But we also need to make sure that through innovative projects such as these, we enable people can get the best out of the transport network as well as staying informed when there are problems or delays.”
In addition to www.wymetro.com, the Combined Authority has the GenerationM travel information site for school pupils and parents and the West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network site for local employers.
Link to the GenerationM young people's site (opens in new window).
West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network (opens in new window).
Nearly 15,000 people follow the @MetroTravelNews Twitter feed for travel updates while the West Yorkshire Metro Facebook page has over 10,000 ‘likes’.