First Bus has announced a series of service updates underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) planning software, aimed at enhancing reliability and punctuality in Glasgow.
The updates signify a step towards integrating technology and data to improve passenger experience. The initiative involves using AI to create timetables that mirror “real-life conditions”, considering factors such as congestion and resource availability.
First says its technology-driven approach has already demonstrated promising results, with a modest pilot across select Glasgow services in August and September showing improvements in punctuality and reliability by up to 16%.
Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director for First Bus Scotland, says: “With the increase in congestion in recent years throughout Glasgow, we understood the importance of building timetables that fit with the current live road conditions, so our customers know when their bus will arrive.
“The adjustments we are making to the timetables will achieve that while allowing us to maximise the effectiveness of the number of buses we have running in the city to serve as many people as possible.”
He further highlights the role of local authorities in investing in bus priority measures to address factors like congestion. “By doing so, it will help provide a better, more efficient public transport service in the city,” he adds.
The updates, set to be implemented from Sunday 10 December, will affect 14 services, including routes 7, 7A, 31, 38, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38E, 57, 57A, 75, 206, 208, and 226. These changes are designed to improve service quality and optimise the use of the existing fleet without reducing the number of buses on the road.
First Bus has also advised customers to rely on the First Bus app for the most current timetable and live bus tracking information, acknowledging that updating physical touchpoints at bus stops with the new schedules will take time due to the scale of the changes.