Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has selected Softwire, a leading digital transformation consultancy, to develop the mobile ticketing and real-time journey information app for the Bee Network.
The Bee Network is Greater Manchester’s vision for a high-volume, low-fare transport system, akin to London’s, aimed at transforming how people travel in the city region and supporting its carbon-neutral goals by 2038.
Softwire will handle the design, development, and deployment of the app. The initial version of the app is scheduled to launch in time for the start of TfGM’s locally controlled bus services on September 24, 2023. This app will serve as the primary platform for passengers to purchase combined Bee AnyBus + Tram tickets, offering approximately 20 percent savings compared to standalone tickets.
The initial release of the Bee Network app will include the following features:
- Integration of Greater Manchester’s new bus and existing tram services into a single platform.
- Real-time departure information to assist passengers with their journeys.
- Navigational aids displaying stops and stations on the Manchester transport network.
- The ability to purchase retail tickets across the Manchester transport network.
- In-app mobile tickets, available for direct use from passengers’ mobile devices.
Following the app’s delivery, Softwire will collaborate with TfGM to provide knowledge transfer, enabling the organization’s in-house teams to assume responsibility for ongoing maintenance and future enhancements, building upon the app’s foundation.
Helen Humble, Head of Ticketing at TfGM, stated, “We look forward to working with Softwire to create the first version of the Bee Network mobile app, which will include the foundations on which we can continually enhance the customer experience over the coming years for the benefit of Greater Manchester.”
Alex Wolff, Director of Public Sector & Transport at Softwire, expressed excitement about contributing to TfGM’s ambitious Bee Network vision. He emphasized the critical role of user experience in increasing public transport usage and highlighted Softwire’s experience in designing and building apps for the travel industry, citing their high rating for the LNER train operator app on the iOS App Store.