Wednesday, October 23

The Star bus service

The new number 7 and 8 'Star' service between Waterlooville and Portsmouth has started and like the Eclipse service between Fareham and Gosport includes a bus stop announcement system and leather seats.

The display at the front of the bus shows the next stop once the current stop has been left and a 'ticker tape' feature at the bottom displays the latest news headlines.
I think the display is a bit under used. There is a large area that is used to display messages about the free WIFI and other onboard features.

Maybe First could do a 'deal' with The News and display local news in that space?

As well as the display, an audio voice announces the next bus stop. These systems are great for people with disabilities and also great for people new to buses or new to an area and don't know where to get off.

The seats are smart with leather coverings which should make them easier to clean. The padding in the seats is also good, giving comfortable support.

On some of the buses the display didn't seem to be working (one displayed the Windows command line and some error messages), but hopefully that is just initial teething trouble and on most of the buses I used it was working. The system certainly appears to be an improvement over the bus stop information systems installed years ago which took a long time to get working.

I have to say that despite some displays not working on some buses, the voice 'next stop' announcements were still working on those buses.

Whilst using the service, I did notice that some people were deliberately waiting for 'Star' buses and avoiding other bus numbers!

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