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September 11 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

OBC in deal with Snap

Coach travel linking Oxford to Bristol and Birmingham is now available thanks to an innovative partnership between the Oxford Bus Company and Snap.

Direct coach services are now available via Snap’s on-demand travel platform at

The technology enables ticketless travel, live vehicle tracking and demand-driven coach planning. The new service runs daily connecting central and suburban Oxford with key areas of Bristol and Birmingham. All new Snap customers get their first return trip free.

As part of the partnership Snap customers will also be able to buy seats on the Oxford Bus Company’s X90 luxury coach service between Oxford and London via its booking platform.

The Snap mobile phone app matches people who want to make similar coach trips and books the travel. Coach drivers will manage Snap customer bookings using the Snap Pro drivers app.

Phil Southall, Managing Director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: “This exciting new partnership with Snap has enabled us to widen our services, offer more routes and broaden our reach to new customers.

“We are always striving to lead the market in innovation and technology to make coach travel more accessible. As we have demonstrated with the launch of Pick Me Up in Oxford we are innovating in demand responsive technology. Via our partnership with Snap we are now able to add technology to coach services for the benefit of passengers.”

Thomas Ableman, founder and CEO of Snap, said: “Our growing network of on-demand coaches is proving hugely popular with a new generation of coach passengers. We now can offer scheduled services for the first time, expanding the reach of the Snap platform.

“As always, we will only work with the very best operators and Oxford Bus Company share our philosophy of growing the coach market by exceeding customer expectations. Snap is about giving customers access to the very best in modern coach travel. Corridors like Bristol to Oxford have been chronically underserved for years. Our on-demand platform means the more people who use the service, the more trips will run.”

Snap is a mobile phone-based coach booking service that uses machine learning to forecast demand for coach trips and provide them at times customers want to travel. Because of only running trips when there’s enough demand, prices are kept low. Snap uses star ratings of every journey by every customer to drive up quality. Snap is also live in London, Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester and Cardiff.

Oxford Bus Company provides extensive bus routes in Oxford City and Abingdon, luxury coach services to London and the airports, the BROOKESBus service, in partnership with Oxford Brookes University, and the prestigious park&ride service which connects five car parks to the city.

Snap is an on-demand coach travel platform linking intercity travellers and independent coach operators and offering great prices at the times people most want to travel. Snap was founded in 2016 by Thomas Ableman, former Commercial Director of Chiltern Railways and Product Development Director of National Express, and has carried over 75,000 people since launch, with outstanding customer feedback (9/10 online reviews are 5-star.) Snap is supported by Kindred Capital, Oxford Capital and ADV and has raised £6m in funding since launch.

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