The Bee Network is Greater Manchester vision for a ‘London-style’, high volume, low fare, transport system, which will transform the way people travel across the city region and support its goals to become carbon-neutral by 2038.
Softwire will be responsible for the design, development, and deployment of the app. The first version of the app for the Bee Network is due to launch in time for the commencement of TfGM’s locally controlled bus services from 24 September 2023. This app will be a main way for travel passengers to buy combined Bee AnyBus + Tram tickets that are around 20 percent cheaper than separate standalone tickets.
The first version of the Bee Network app will provide these features:
- The integration of Greater Manchester’s new bus and existing tram services in one place
- Access to real-time departure information to help passengers with their journeys
- Navigational aids showing the stops and stations on the Manchester transport network
- The ability to purchase retail tickets across the Manchester transport network
- In-app mobile tickets, available for use directly from the passenger’s mobile device
After delivery, Softwire will then work with TfGM to provide knowledge-transfer, to enable the organisation’s in-house teams to take on ongoing maintenance and future enhancements, building on the foundations.
Helen Humble, Head of Ticketing at TfGM, said: “We look forward to working with Softwire to create the first version of the Bee Network mobile app, which will include the foundations on which we can continually enhance the customer experience over the coming years for the benefit of Greater Manchester.
“Softwire has demonstrable expertise in this space, including around user-centric design, accessibility and the ability to build apps that integrate seamlessly with a variety of services, all of which will be crucial here.”
Alex Wolff, Director of Public Sector & Transport at Softwire added: “We’re really excited to be helping TfGM deliver on its ambitious Bee Network vision, which will improve the lives of everyone living in, working in and visiting Greater Manchester, while also helping the region reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
“Apps like this have such a powerful role to play in increasing public transport usage, and the key is to get the user experience just right. This covers everything from offering the right capabilities and designing the screens correctly, through to ensuring the underlying architecture can meet expectations around availability and performance, particularly at peak times. We’ll be drawing on our experience of designing and building other apps in the travel industry, including for train operator LNER, where the app we created currently has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 on the iOS App Store.”