Bus firm develops tech to help passengers socially distance and contact trace

Bus firm develops tech to help passengers socially distance and contact trace

Posted 05 May, 2020 at 18:00

Author Mark Bradshaw on behalf of Pronounce Concierge Service


The latest technology is helping an innovative transport firm not only provide socially-distant bus services to protect passengers but it can help contact trace too.

Zeelo, which provides safe smart bus services for commuters at companies such as Amazon, Argos, Ocado and Investec, says passengers will only return to public transport if there is more confidence in the offering.

Co-founder and Zeelo CEO Sam Ryan said the new software would provide real-time updates on passenger numbers for each route, allowing users to book knowing they will be two metres apart from the next passenger.

The technology would also enable contact tracing, so if a rider informs the company they are showing symptoms of the virus, fellow passengers who may have been travelling with them in the past can be alerted. It has also introduced personal protective equipment (PPE) for drivers, the use of only the middle doors and a zero-contact policy.

Zeelo hit the headlines for its launch of a critical-worker service to help NHS staff and key workers beat the Coronavirus pandemic. Now it’s urging companies, schools and local authorities to think differently about mass transit during the coronavirus pandemic.

Zeelo chairman Michael Liebreich, also a former Transport for London board member, offered up a three-point plan.

“First, mayors, municipalities and transportation agencies must act decisively to rebuild trust in mass transit, so that people feel safe using it even before the virus has completely disappeared.

“Second, they must promote active travel and micro-mobility, not as a nice-to-have, for sustainability or health reasons, but as a public priority in order to keep cities moving and to enable robust economic activity.

“Third, they need to find creative ways to increase capacity, especially during rush hours, by creatively integrating private sector and smart mobility transport providers, many of whom will be sitting on idle capacity.”

The technology is currently being used by logistics giant XPO. Martin Coughlin, director of XPO Logistics (Europe), said: "Online distribution centres remain open and encouraged (night and day) so at XPO our dedication during these uniquely challenging times has been to review and do everything we can to keep our employees, their families and loved ones safe. Coupled with changes to our processes to enable social distancing, the Zeelo service has been crucial in minimising the risk raised and posed by colleagues regarding initial concerns to public transport usage whilst the UK was adapting to the new normal. 

“Zeelo's ‘critical worker safety procedures’ was exactly what we needed to assist our colleagues and customer. Their management of this service has been second to none and has been key to colleague engagement.”

John Johnson, director of Johnsons Coaches and Chairman of CPT's Coach Commission, said: “Coach operators are facing a real struggle if something isn’t done to arrest the drop in passenger confidence.

“Companies and schools need to seize the opportunity to provide safe transportation with an existing fleet which already serves the UK well.”

To date, Zeelo has transported over 500,000 travellers achieving a Trustpilot rating of 9/10. Zeelo’s mission is to make the world a better place to work and live by giving people access to convenient sustainable mass transit.

Among the measures taken include:

  • All services will be fully sanitised before and after each journey by trained drivers
  • Drivers will be suited in PPE to reduce the risk of infection spreading;
  • There will be a no-contact policy onboard – drivers will check riders passes without contact to riders or their phones;
  • The number of people on vehicles will be capped so that every member of staff has 2 meters spacing around them to reduce social interaction;
  • Hand sanitiser will be offered on all services for riders;
  • Various service options are available – including taking people from temporary accommodation such as hotels as well as residential locations.

Zeelo currently drives more than 5,000 people to work each day across the UK, with key hubs in the Midlands, South West, North West and Home Counties.

It has also unveiled ambitious plans to expand its offering in Ireland and Italy, in addition to growing its customer base in South Africa.

For more information click here - https://travel.zeelo.co/zeelo-launches-critical-worker-commute-offering-to-help-essential-service-providers-beat-coronavirus/ - or contact adam@zeelo.co or ring 0330 808 3306.

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