First Bus has updated its app to allow customers to see the available capacity of their bus in real time before it arrives at their stop, in addition to being able to track its location.

It is the first of the ‘big five’ groups to offer real-time capacity monitoring. That, it says, reduces uncertainty for passengers.

The innovation has been made possible by passenger counting functionality. That was announced at the end of May and has been delivered in partnership with Ticketer. Data is fed from the passenger counting system to the app. First is enforcing a 75% reduction in capacity presently to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be observed.

Says First Bus Managing Director Giles Fearnley: “We are proud to have been able to fast-track this technology to ensure safe, informed travel during these difficult times. Our buses provide an essential service for our customers and we are doing all we can to support them.”

First Bus increased services capacity across England on Monday. It says it expects to do the same in Scotland and Wales “in coming weeks.”