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yournextbus customers urged to go online and 'love the live'

9 May 2019

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is encouraging people who use its yournextbus real-time service to take advantage of its live, online mode and to leave the text version behind.

yournextbus is the service that provides West Yorkshire’s bus passengers with a live, online countdown advising when their bus will arrive. When yournextbus was launched in 2005, using the service meant sending a text and then receiving a reply, at a cost, that gave a snapshot of how many minutes away the bus was. Subsequent improvements to web technology, mobile devices and the service itself mean that yournextbus now provides the live, online countdown, which is updated every 60 seconds.

Minimise the wait

Passengers wanting to make the most of their time and minimise how long they spend at the stop, connect to the online service from mobile devices around 1.2 million times each month.

To use the service, passengers can simply use their smartphone to find live arrivals information for their stop online via www.wymetro.com/ynb. There, they can enter the eight-digit stop number beginning ‘450’ displayed at each stop, the bus service number or a postcode, to check their times before they set off and avoid waiting at the stop.

Alternatively, passengers can scan the QR (Quick Response) code or NFC (Near Field Communication) tags, which the Combined Authority has installed at each of the county’s 14,000 bus stops and shelters. Doing this opens up a unique, online link providing the live information for that stop. Once you have loaded the countdown page for your stop to your phone, you can save it in your favourites allowing you to check your bus arrival times, anytime, anywhere. QR and NFC tags, which are located at the bottom left of timetable displays, have been scanned over 2.3 million times.

yournextbus texts

Despite the updates, over 1,000,000 yournextbus texts were sent over the past 12 months. However, the 98,000 texts sent in April 2018 had dropped to 69,000 by March 2019. In 2018, the five stops for which the most text messages were sent were all in Leeds. They were Headingley Arndale, Barleyhill Road, Garforth, Albion Street, Forest Bank, Gildersome and Coronation Parade, Halton Moor. The stop outside Leeds where the highest number of texts were requested was Whitehall Road East, Birkenshaw, in the Bradford district.

Snapshot

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “We believe there are still a number of people across West Yorkshire who are using the text-based version of our yournextbus service. This means they are not getting the best from the service because they only receive a snapshot of what’s going on and it can cost them as much as 12 pence per use instead of a fraction of their data package.

“Now that most mobiles are smartphones, we are urging all those using yournextbus who can to switch to the live online service saving time and money.

“We do appreciate that not all customers have access to smartphones and will continue to provide the text service but we don’t want our customers using up their text allowance or incurring unnecessary costs when the information is available free of charge”

Julian Presley, who regularly catches the bus between Horsforth and Leeds, said: “Thanks to yournextbus, I can time my trip to the bus stop for when the bus is going to arrive and I can spend more time doing what I enjoy.”

Campaign

This week, the Combined Authority is launching a new publicity campaign to remind people how they can get more accurate, more up-to-date information for a lower cost.

The yournextbus service is enhanced by real-time display screens at 1,000 of West Yorkshire’s busiest stops. Work is currently underway to increase that number, bringing the total to 1,750 new and enhanced screens. One thousand are being installed at stops across Leeds, funded by the £270 million Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme. Existing, blue monitor screens with clearer LED screens are being fitted at 750 stops across the rest of West Yorkshire.

Cllr Groves added: “Buses are vital to supporting the local economy with people using them to make nearly three million journeys to and from work in West Yorkshire each week, so the more we can do to make bus use easier and more convenient the better.

“Putting customers at the heart improving services in this way is one of the key aims of the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance which we formed earlier this year with Arriva, First and Transdev and the smaller bus operators through ABOWY.”

With MCard smartcard tickets being used for up to 400,000 journeys a week and over 650,000 timetables being downloaded from the Combined Authority’s Metro transport information website every month, bus travel in West Yorkshire is increasingly digital, reflecting changes in consumer habits and technology developments.

Find out more about travel, timetables and tickets in West Yorkshire. 

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