Following the initial success of its SeatFinder tool introduced in September, Southeastern is rolling out new features to help passengers plan their journeys. This means that people who still need to travel, in line with the government’s latest guidance, can do so with confidence and choose a service with sufficient space to social distance effectively.
When it was introduced, SeatFinder shared average train loading data with passengers via the Live Departure Boards on the Southeastern website for services running two hours or less prior to travel. The innovative new tool was welcomed by passengers, reflected by a 41% increase in daily traffic to the Live Departure Boards on the website.
Southeastern has now made SeatFinder available on its app through a new Live Departure Board widget and in the existing ‘common journeys’ feature. The app will also show how many carriages each train will have and on-board toilet availability, so people can be confident of accessing hand washing facilities whilst they are travelling.
The train company has also launched SeatFinder Timetables to allow longer-term journey planning. This means that colour-coded timetables are now available weeks in advance to help passengers pre-plan their journeys.
By checking the timetables through SeatFinder, passengers will see red, amber and green indicators showing the anticipated level of available capacity on trains. These have been set to standards that will ensure there is sufficient space for passengers to keep 2m or 1m apart whilst on-board.
John Backway, Head of Retail at Southeastern said:
“The launch of SeatFinder has been well received by our passengers and made a real difference when it comes to helping them plan journeys. At a time when it is so important to feel confident when travelling, these improvements to help access the tool and enable better advanced planning are a welcome addition. We hope they will reassure passengers and give them more confidence when travelling on our network.”
As well as launching Seat Finder, Southeastern has been implementing measures to protect the safety of its staff and passengers across the network. All frontline staff are wearing face coverings and passengers requested to comply with government guidelines in stations and on trains.
An enhanced cleaning regime has been rolled out across all stations, in line with the ‘safer travel pledge’ made across the whole rail industry in July. Southeastern has invested more than £400,000 in extra cleaning routines to help ensure a safe and hygienic working environment for passengers and employees. Most recently, they have increased the number of cleaners on trains and platforms at stations with the highest footfall such as Victoria, Charing Cross and Dartford.
Click here to view the enhanced Seat Finder tool: www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/seatfinder