Public transport app and website provider Passenger has launched a new campaign capability that allows bus operators to create discount codes for travellers and boost incentives for bus travel.
Operators will be able to configure discount codes to specific tickets, times and users. They can then evaluate how those discount codes are performing using Passenger’s cloud-based system.
The update aligns with the National Bus Strategy’s call for “heavy promotion and marketing to familiarise non-users with their local buses…and introductory offers to promote the service to them”.
Operators to already roll out the update are the Go-Ahead Group, Blackpool Transport Services and Nottingham City Transport.
“The new discount campaign tools are set to be a game-changer for many operators,” says Tom Quay, CEO at Passenger. “Not only will they help engage new users, but also incentivise those who are yet to return, converting many to digital payment in the process. The feature’s highly targeted capabilities also help operators tailor their discounts to appeal to different audiences, empowering them to be creative with the ways in which they attract new customers to try the bus.”
Passenger points to the benefits of promotional offers in converting people to bus use. operators in Swansea saw patronage jump by 20% during a free journey weekend in August.
“Discount codes work because they offer people a meaningful incentive,” adds Mr Quay. “Now, people have even more reason to take the bus as operators adopting digital solutions like ours can provide an affordable, safe and efficient way to get them from A to B.”
Discount codes have already been implemented by Go-Ahead subsidiary Bluestar in Southampton. Says Nikki Honer, Head of Marketing at Go South Coast: “Implementing technology that brings additional benefits to our customers and entices new customers onto the bus is a critical part of our strategy.
“Being able to offer flexible promotional incentives – just as our users have with other purchasing experiences – is an important part of that plan. We are very pleased to be able to support businesses and educational establishments’ users to start taking the bus more often and to welcome new customers onboard our services.”