Britain’s biggest bus, coach and tram operator, Stagecoach, has announced a technological partnership that it says will help plan the bus networks of the future to match the changes in how people travel coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The technological transformation will see Optibus software, which is used in over 450 cities globally utilising AI, advanced algorithms, and cloud computing platform, rolled out to deliver smarter timetables and networks amid the evolving demand for travel.

Stagecoach says It will help deliver timetables and rosters offering customers more attractive frequencies and reliability, while helping reduce CO2 emissions with more effective transport planning.

The company says Optibus’ rapid scenario creation will allow planners to identify different options for routes and timetables and quickly see the impact, enabling decisions that continue to put the customer first.

The technology will also help Stagecoach roll out its new electric buses  more quickly and effectively. Last year, Stagecoach introduced Manchester’s first fleet of electric double-decker buses, and is targeting a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035.

UK Managing Director for Stagecoach, Carla Stockton-Jones said that with a 40-year history of delivering innovation, it is crucial that the company continues to embrace the latest technology to provide the best services for customers and to help attract new customers.

“We are confident that as we come out of the pandemic, this new technology will help us to plan the bus networks of the future and ensure that buses continue to play a key role in the country’s recovery,” said Carla Stockton-Jones.

Following successful pilots in July last year, the Optibus platform will be rolled out across the company over the following 18 months.

Optibus CEO Amos Haggiag  said the company is thrilled to partner with Britain’s biggest bus operator to power a pandemic recovery that he says puts passenger needs at the forefront while transitioning to a zero-emission fleet.

Stagecoach says it is continuing to make major strides in adopting new technology to help improve the service it offers customers. Earlier this year, it announced it was to become the first UK bus operator to nationally roll-out new bridge alert technology. New digital systems have been introduced to manage the maintenance of its bus fleet, and it has delivered Britain’s biggest transit contactless program.