Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News


14 Mar 2019 by Matt Harrison

First local bus operator to launch instant messaging service to help travellers on the go

Harrogate’s leading bus operator, The Harrogate Bus Company, is always in the driving seat when it comes to pioneering new technology – and now it’s launching a flexible and fast way to get accurate and timely information direct to customers’ mobile devices.

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It will be one of the first bus companies in the country to use the instant messaging service WhatsApp to offer rapid responses to requests for up-to-the-minute information, such as current service status, future journey planning and best value fares.

The new service comes at a time when technology is helping the company to deliver faster and more accurate information, including via its free-to-download Transdev Go mobile app. It already offers users real-time running information on all bus services, making waiting at bus stops a thing of the past.

WhatsApp is the world’s leading instant messaging service, used by more than a billion people around the world each day. It’s free to use and easy to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Ben Garcia, who leads customer services for The Harrogate Bus Company, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to communicate with our customers, and as the number of WhatsApp users continues to rise, there’s no better time than now for us to add this to our service.

“There are lots of ways to use this new service on the move – as well as finding out what time the next bus is, we can give advice on the best value fare deal, and we also want to encourage our customers to give us instant feedback on their journey.

“All anyone with a mobile device needs to do is download and open WhatsApp, touch in our number – 07769 991785 – and start chatting with us!

“We want to offer a choice of quick and convenient ways to start a conversation with our customers. Anyone with WhatsApp on their phone can benefit from this, and of course all the other ways of getting in touch continue, including by telephone, email and face to face at our shop in Harrogate Bus Station.”

The new WhatsApp service is now live, and offers information on all of The Harrogate Bus Company’s services, including the ever-popular 36 linking Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds, and the Harrogate Electrics buses which serve many areas of Harrogate town.

More information on The Harrogate Bus Company and its services is also available via the free-to-download Transdev Go app, and on its website, http://www.harrogatebus.co.uk.