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New public transport checker service hailed by north-east MSPs


By Kyle Ritchie

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North-east MSPs have welcomed a new service which will let commuters check how busy public transport is to help plan their journey during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move has been announced by Traveline Scotland for multiple operators across the country including Nestrans in Aberdeenshire.

Aberdeenshire has been picked to take part in the first tranche of the roll-out by travel operators which was part funded with £50,000 from the Scottish Government.

And both Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson are supporting the plans.

With capacity restricted on public transport due to physical distancing measures, the public are being encouraged to plan their journey to avoid busy times where possible.

This development, which significantly improves people’s ability to plan their journey more effectively and travel safely, is the first part of a phased roll-out that aims to cover the whole of the country over the coming months.

Information is being collated and verified so that the journey planners on the Traveline Scotland website and associated IOS and Android apps will now show how many seats are available, or how busy a bus is when it is in service.

By using the on board ticket machine and driver input, digital data is also able to indicate whether a service is quite busy, not so busy or relatively quiet in real-time for passengers benefit.

People can check how busy public transport is through the Traveline Scotland mobile app or website.
People can check how busy public transport is through the Traveline Scotland mobile app or website.

Ms Martin said: “This will help allow members of the public to plan their journeys safely and I am delighted Aberdeenshire has been included in this first phase of the roll-out.

“As physical distancing continues this means people can effectively plan their journey knowing how busy their commute is likely to be.”

Mr Stevenson said: “I welcome this announcement as well as the funding support of £50,000 from the Scottish Government.

“We know much has changed across public transport including mandatory face coverings and physical distancing.

“Now commuters will be able to see how busy the service is and plan ahead, making the travel process easier than before.”

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