Posted: 18.10.20 at 07:00 by Issued by First West of England
First West of England has extended its innovative space booking system to the popular Somer Valley route between Paulton and Bath.
Customers on the 171/172 services can now book a space on the bus ahead of their journey. This route, which services Paulton, Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Peasedown St John, before terminating at Bath Bus Station, was chosen as one of the trials as it is well patronised and serves a number of key communities .
The pilot launched in the summer on the Brislington Park and Ride service in Bristol and now also runs on the Thornbury to Bristol city centre route with the service on both routes proving popular with customers .
This innovative new facility comes as First continues to find ways to use technology to improve the travelling experience for its customers. It follows recent changes to First’s app, which now enables customers to track the location and seat availability of their bus.
Along with social distancing measures on its buses and an enhanced cleaning regime, it forms a package of measures to ensure customers can make informed and safe journeys on First’s buses.
The ‘Book my bus ride’ initiative is being trialled by First West of England in partnership with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA.) Bookings can be made up to seven days in advance of the journey, with the flexibility of being able to reserve a space, subject to availability, right up to 15 minutes before departure.
Customers will have the option of buying a ticket with their reservation or booking at no extra cost if they already have a pre-paid First Bus ticket or are a concessionary card holder travelling after 9.00 am.
With capacity onboard currently reduced due to social distancing, the reservation will secure a space on the chosen bus rather than a specific seat. Bookings are made on a new, dedicated website, www.bookmybusride.com, with customers receiving an email booking confirmation that needs to be shown to the driver with an existing ticket/concessionary card if payment has not been made at the time of booking.
Bookings are possible for all Monday to Friday journeys , with just under 50% of the socially distanced capacity being bookable and the remaining seats left available for customers to board and pay as normal without a booking. The service started on 5 October.
To reserve a space on the 171 and 172 services from 5 October, customers can visit www.bookmybusride.com.
For customers who are not able to make an online booking, a dedicated phone line is also being trialled and is available on 07866 977586, Monday to Friday from 09.00-17.00 (excluding Public Holidays).
Confirmation of all phone bookings will be sent in the post and First recommends making phone bookings seven days in advance of your journey to allow time for this delivery.