First Manchester announces new innovative measures to enable social distancing on board
First Manchester is introducing measures to assist customers in social distancing when travelling on its buses and to give everyone further reassurance about the safety of bus travel.
The most visible sign will be on board where passengers will be encouraged to use seats that are at an appropriate distance from each other. This necessary step to support safe travel will reduce the capacity of each bus by around 75% and some seats will be marked on First Manchester vehicles from Monday 25 May.
To help drivers, over the next few days a facility will be added to the Ticket machine that allows drivers to count passengers on and off and which advises them what, if any, available capacity remains. Where a bus is full, the driver will show a “SORRY BUS FULL” display on the destination screen.
Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of First Manchester, said: “Our priority is and always has been ensuring the safety of passengers and drivers on our buses. Following Government guidance, social distancing measures are being introduced across our buses from next week and we hope our customers will understand and co-operate in helping us to control capacity.
“Our buses will be operating at a reduced capacity with around 1 in 4 seats available, but thanks to passenger data monitoring, we are aiming to provide double decker buses on the busiest journeys. We are also providing a number of standby buses to add to routes where appropriate to try and provide the best service possible for essential journeys.”
He added: “We are committed to keeping customers informed of the latest travel advice and information though our online channels and signage across our buses. We have been working closely with our colleagues and trade unions on the measures we are taking to enable social distancing as bus travel gradually becomes part of daily life again.
“We would ask for people’s patience with our drivers and the support team during these challenging times as we adapt our service provision around the Government’s guidance. Together we can all play a crucial role in getting the region back on its feet again.”