Overhauling First Group’s mobile ticket and journey planning apps to create an all-in-one seamless, easy-to-use experience for its First Bus app users.
First Group wanted to make journey planning and ticket purchasing easier and quicker for passengers. With the original setup, First Bus users had to download a separate app to purchase tickets, which was frustrating. The Future Platforms goal was to offer a seamless, easy-to-use experience, identifying features that would save passengers time not only at the bus stop, but prior and post booking as well.
We completely rebuilt an improved experience, rather than just integrating the mTickets app into the core First Bus app, to allow users to plan all aspects of their trip within one platform. We conducted extensive user research and tested a beta version of the app, which helped us determine usability and efficiency, as well as identifying minor features to fix.
Passengers are now able to quickly pull up live bus times and then buy tickets immediately, activate tickets while offline, and favourite stops and locations to save time on repeated journeys. The app is still in its early stages and we are gradually rolling it out to its 350,000 users, but it has already been nominated for the Leisure, Travel, Entertainment and Sports category at The Drum Mobile Awards.
We continue to invest in new payment technology that makes catching the bus much easier. Contactless payment sees growth every week, within each of our businesses. The use of mTickets is also exceeding expectations, doubling year-on-year usage. We are also improving how customers plan their journeys, enabling them to follow their bus on our app via GPS. The information that we now have from our on-board equipment enables us to manage the operations in real time as well as providing valuable data for network planning and timetabling.
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