Back to Top

Mobility Measure

City navigators (InfoBus)

The City Navigators scheme aims to provide travel and tourist information at key sites via the InfoBus, a dedicated branded vehicle.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The need to strengthen linkages between transport and tourist information for visitors to the city has long been recognised. This is particularly true in relation to major events held within the city, such as the Bristol marathon, the Ashton Court Festival and the Balloon Fiesta, which have significant transport implications including road closures, revised parking arrangements and special public transport services. The provision of mobile travel information, combined with the development of an information centre and Internet trip planning link text, are seen as important means of integrating services and moving towards information tailored to individual locations or events.

How did the measure progress?

Prior to the implementation of the VIVALDI scheme, information was gathered via a review of existing schemes in Frankfurt, the Strathcylde region and the West Midlands. Existing providers of transport and tourist information were also reviewed. In keeping with the VIVALDI emphasis on clean fuel vehicles, it was decided that an electric bus would be the most suitable means of providing this service, particularly as the likely distances covered could be accommodated within battery range. To conserve battery power, the electronic display equipment on the bus is powered by a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) generator.

The scheme provides information to travellers at key sites such as public transport interchanges, strategic movement generators or sites where special events are held. A dedicated branded vehicle is used to provide information relevant to its location through a combination of staff, displays, paper-based materials and electronic systems.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The Info Bus has been used at a number of events in Bristol. During the period December 2003 to August 2005, the Info Bus attended 17 events. Utilisation of the bus by council staff proved far lower than anticipated. Barriers to use were identified, including the technology employed, the vehicle itself, and difficulties in staffing events held at weekends.

Surveys were carried out among visitors to the Info Bus during a Bristol festival. Survey respondents were generally satisfied with the experience of using the Info Bus. Some 80 percent found that the information was useful in planning their journeys; 50 percent were informed about a service they were previously unaware of; and 60 percent agreed that the information provided had influenced the type of transport they were going to use.   Over 90 percent of respondents noted that they were satisfied with the look of the bus and access to it, and with the quality and range of information provided. Respondents receiving staff assistance were also satisfied with the service provided, as were those who had used the paper-based information.