Reading Buses - Excellence in Travel Information and Marketing
Integration of Apps, QR, Web feed, i-media integration, with dynamic customer feedback

Reading Buses know that Marketing is more than advertising. Finding out what passengers want, making sure that they get it cost effectively and embedding a culture where that the company learns from customer feedback are equally important. After that, presenting services clearly and imaginatively is essential and most of all keeping it all up day after day after day!

Reading Buses have consistently been at the forefront not only of imaginatively marketing their services but improving them using customer feedback. They have taken best practice, like Route Branding, to the next level and innovated (for example, by fully using on bus electronic integrated media and control systems to inform their passengers and control services). This is almost unique. Best of all they have kept at it, refreshing themselves day after day, and month after month.

Branding carries through to web and apps

The Nimbus realtime service Information system combined with strong advertising, consistent route branding and excellent response to customer comments and needs justify this statement – and results prove it.

Reading Buses have shown consistent and dedicated focus on marketing their services in simple to understand and comprehensive ways. Supreme (and sometimes lively!) relations with the press, excellent route branding, bright easy to understand paper media is combined with a strong on bus real time screens and a flexible service control system. This combines Automatic Vehicle Location for the depot controllers with real time information on and off the bus for controllers and passengers.

It also provides real time response to queries in the Customer care department and enhances the contact experience – all too poor over most of the bus industry!

An open source android app and i-phone app comes as part of the system, as do QR codes.




This has contributed to a 2.44% increase in passenger numbers and 90% customer satisfaction rating, which puts Reading Buses joint third in the country.

Reading Buses Travel marketing is particularly strong because all of the activities work to a single theme – simple and easy advanced journey planning, clear and simple identification of ‘your bus’ as it approaches (also how long it is going to be), a simple fare structure, clear and accessible information during the journey in real time, and if things go wrong, a responsive and caring response that is used to improve the business.


Real Time information is an essential part of this and includes all modern means of delivery including on and off bus displays, Apps and web feeds, and audio on bus announcements. This is a truly integrated system combining adverts and information with Real Time travel information still being the most important element. This is more than simple advertising!


Flat screen technology on street

In addition, the service controllers can send live messages to bus passengers on the road. This combination is almost unique. In other cases systems can show adverts or RTI but not both. It is used by Reading Buses both to publish information to customers, to help with comments and complaints in real time, and to look at historic performance to improve the future.

The latest improved system has been fitted to the Gas powered buses recently delivered. It now includes location specific feeds of live rail information, a mobile App (Android – Thanks Niall Scott who supplied the app - and an i-phone app), and really comprehensive web feed for the public. A QR code element has also been added. Further improvements are planned to maximise available technologies over the next year or two including NFC communications, automated messaging for service disruption, closer integration with social media and web and so on.