Mobile app for bus and tram tickets is big hit

The transport app helps to plan journeys. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The transport app helps to plan journeys. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A NEW mobile app that allows commuters to download bus and tram tickets on to their smartphones has attracted twice as many users as expected.

Bosses at Transport for Edinburgh are celebrating after figures showed 200,000 people have used its mobile app this year.

Despite only being launched for Apple and Android devices in November, the app has seen at least 1.5 million ‘m-tickets’ sold in the past two months.

The app allows users to buy bus and tram tickets online, which can be downloaded to their mobile phones and used for travel. It also includes a journey planner and gives travellers live status updates for the service they want to catch.

Transport for Edinburgh’s app can even let passengers know when they are approaching the stop they need on an unfamiliar route by using geo-location technology built into their mobile device.

The software was built by in-house developers backed by mobile technology company Corethree, which has developed apps for the likes of Barclays and Cancer Research UK.

Ian Craig, chief executive at Transport for Edinburgh, said new features would be added to the app in 2015 with the aim of boosting the number of users further.

He said: “The fact that our app is twice as popular as we originally expected is brilliant news. The success is very much down to the commitment of our in-house app developer, commercial team and external partner Corethree.

“As we continue to improve the functionality of the app across both bus and tram services, we look forward to more people taking advantage of all it has to offer.”

Richard Stevenson, product specialist at Corethree, said: “We are thrilled by the phenomenal success of the Transport for Edinburgh app, having doubled the m-ticketing target from a standing start to 1.4 million tickets in 12 months.

“Corethree is committed to deliver further innovative enhancements to the Transport for Edinburgh m-ticketing service and ensure we retain the high levels of passenger satisfaction.”

The app has already scooped two award nominations, featuring on the shortlist for an Innovation Award at the UK Bus Awards, and in the Most Successful Mobile Ticketing Programme category at the Transport Ticketing Awards 2015.

In September, Transport for Edinburgh also unveiled a new Citysmart card to rival London’s Oystercard system, allowing passengers to load up a card with pre-paid tickets that can be used across bus and tram services.