Bus company uses artificial intelligence to help passengers travel safely

PUBLISHED: 10:29 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:29 15 July 2020

Jeremy Cooper, managing director for Konectbus. Photo: Go-East Anglia

Jeremy Cooper, managing director for Konectbus. Photo: Go-East Anglia


Bus passengers will be able to find out the best time to travel and maintain social distancing using artificial intelligence.

A Konectbus vehicle. Picture: IAN BURTA Konectbus vehicle. Picture: IAN BURT

Go-Ahead, the parent company of Dereham-based Konectbus, which manages Norwich Park and Ride and routes in towns including Watton, Wymondham and King’s Lynn, has launched its When to Travel tool through its website and mobile phone app.

It uses colour-coded bus timetables that show seat availability on services to help people avoid busy times when capacity is reduced for social distancing.

A double decker bus that could normally take up to 75 people is currently limited to about 30 seats.

Jeremy Cooper, managing director for Konectbus, said: “Our customers have told us their priorities are cleanliness, social distancing and knowing they can get a seat on the bus home. We want our customers to be able to plan their journeys with confidence, knowing they will be able to board the bus at a particular time, and get home at a time that suits them.

“Along with the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of buses, and by following the government advice to wash hands frequently, pay by contactless, and wear face coverings whilst on board, customers can travel in safety and with confidence.”

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When to Travel was developed in conjunction with technology company CitySwift.

It uses artificial intelligence that learns from recorded passenger use and updates automatically.

With more people expected to use buses for work and eventually school, When to travel will help customers plan journeys based on when seats will be available without the need for long waits.

It is hoped the information collected through this technology will help Konectbus plan future timetable changes based on emerging demand as the bus industry faces the challenges of changing travel patterns, balanced with capacity restrictions due to social distancing.

A statement on the Konectbus website said how its routes were starting to return to a “normal” level of service “in-line with government advice”.

There will be timetable updates from Sunday, July 26, as well as Sunday services returning to pre-covid levels from that date.

Visit for more information on the app.

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