Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage recently met with Marc Reddy, Regional Commercial & Business Growth Director, First Bus.
Caroline regularly meets with the company to raise her constituents concerns with regard to bus routes/stops and to discuss how the profits from the Bus Rapid Transit scheme will be re-invested locally.
At this meeting Mark also updated Caroline about the £3 million investment First Bus are making in 17 new buses called the “Solent Rangers” which will serve the X4 and X5 routes. These new buses will have 'next stop announcements', particularly helpful for those who are visually impaired. This facility will also soon be rolled out to most of the other First buses.
She was also shown the new automatic vehicle location technology which means First Bus can now monitor more easily how efficiently buses are running and can improve the timetables and routes to reflect the data they have obtained. This system is also enabling the real time information shown on electronic screens at some bus stops. This information can now be obtained by anyone with a smart phone by scanning the QR code on a stop or by using the First Bus App.
Commenting on the information, Caroline said:
“It was great to meet with First Buses to discuss the improvements and innovative ideas that they are using. They now have a mobile app where you can pre-pay for your bus tickets for both adults and children, meaning boarding the bus is quicker and easier.
I was also able to raise constituents concerns regarding various routes and the positions of bus stops. First Bus are going to carry out site visits to the areas discussed. First have a commitment to invest some of their profits from the successful Bus Rapid Transit back into further bus improvements in our area, it was helpful to talk about how that money might be used.”
To keep up to date with the improvements First Bus are making locally visit http://www.firstgroup.com/portsmouth-fareham-gosport.