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First Bus targets reliability improvements with service updates driven by artificial intelligence

  • First Bus is utilising the latest artificial intelligence planning software to ensure data is at the heart of the new timetable updates and they reflect real life experience.
  • Customers will see improvements in reliability and punctuality on 14 services throughout Glasgow.

First Bus is targeting improved reliability and punctuality throughout Greater Glasgow following the announcement of service updates for customers across the city and surrounding areas.

The changes are driven by a data-led approach through AI software and will see small adjustments made to selected service timetables, allowing First Bus to offer a better service for customers throughout Greater Glasgow while ensuring the same number of buses remain out on the road.

By utilising the latest AI technology, First Bus is enabling its network planning experts to create timetables that reflect real life experience and improves it for customers. The technology considers road conditions, congestion, and available resource amongst many more factors.

A small range of services across Glasgow saw adjustments made to pilot this technology across August and September. Results have shown their punctuality and reliability improving by up to 16% in the period since.

The services benefitting from the network updates set to go live on Sunday 10th December are 7, 7A, 31, 38, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38E, 57, 57A, 75, 206, 208, and 226.

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director for First Bus Scotland, said: “We want to provide our customers with a service that is reliable, consistent and, most importantly, on time. With the increase in congestion in recent years throughout Glasgow, we understood the importance of building timetables that fit with the current live road conditions, so our customers know when their bus will arrive.

“The adjustments we are making to the timetables will achieve that while allowing us to maximise the effectiveness of the number of buses we have running in the city to serve as many people as possible.

“It also further highlights the need for local authority investment in bus priority measures to overcome issues which are outside the control of bus operators, such as congestion. By doing so, it will help provide a better, more efficient public transport service in the city.”

First Bus will endeavour to update physical touchpoints at bus stops as quickly as possible with the new timetable information but given the scale of the change, the operator would encourage all customers to utilise the First Bus app for the most up to date timetable and live bus tracking information.

For full details on the updated timetables, please visit the our website.

Notes to editors

About First Bus
First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.

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