Hampshire County Council will spend GBP 3.5 million on a new hi-tech bus information system, which will give passengers real-time information on bus arrivals via satellite using electronic noticeboards, the internet and mobile and app messaging.
The system has already been implemented in Winchester city, Basingstoke centre, Gosport and Fareham and is set to be extended a further four years when the current contract expires in 2013.
Over the next four years, around GBP 4.5 million will be spent on the system, with around GBP 1.5 million invested by the Department for Transport, and firms will be invited to bid for the contract. The county will spend a further GBP 698,000 on smart tickets for bus and ferry travel.
Some critics have argued that this is a foolish investment when bus routes have been slashed only last year. Cuts totalling GBP 2.2 million and a decrease in the Government rural bus subsidy resulted in the removal of around 100 routes.
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