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New digital ‘Route Explorer’ puts buses at your fingertips

24 Sep 2014

Passengers using Greater Manchester buses now have a new pocket-sized trip adviser following the launch of a new mobile-friendly tool which puts finding a bus right at their fingertips

Councillor Andrew Fender

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Route Explorer asks people where they want to go and then shows them all the direct bus services that they can catch, when they leave, where the nearest bus stops are and how they can link up with trams and trains.

Route Explorer, which works on smartphones, tablets, Macs and PCs, is TfGM’s latest digital product designed to make life easier for anyone who wants to make a journey in Greater Manchester.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Using this type of fingertip technology is the perfect way to help people plan their journeys on the go and to get around town.
 
“The Route Explorer doesn’t expect you to know very much about public transport and is extremely user friendly. We’ve even linked it with Google maps so it recognises shops and businesses, not just streets and postcodes. You can see a streetview of the stops you get on and off at – perfect if you are unfamiliar with the places you are travelling to.”
 
Once Route Explorer has found the start and end points of a direct journey, it links to an online bus timetable library, sending passengers to the timetable they need. The map shows the route and all the stops along the way.
TfGM has already created an app for Metrolink passengers and launched trial versions of an app which helped passengers on the free Manchester city centre Metroshuttle service know where they needed to get off for the shops they wanted.
 
In developing the Route Explorer, funded by the Department for Transport’s Better Bus Area Fund, TfGM enlisted support from business and community groups, including Trafford Youth Council, Manchester Met Uni ICT, Greater Manchester Disability Design Reference Group, MediaCityUK, intu Trafford Centre, Cornerhouse and local bus operators.