The RATP transport network is trialling contactless buttons on buses in a bid to improve safety measures in light of the Covid-19 health crisis.
The holograph buttons – called “HoloStop” – have replaced traditional buttons that passengers press with their fingers to halt the bus as it arrives at a bus stop.
Instead, passengers can now pass their fingers near a holographic representation of a button which changes colour and makes a sound when a request has been registered. As they do not have to physically touch the button, the risk of coming into contact with the Covid-19 virus is reduced.
Five buses on the “Squbus” network in Saine-Quentin-en-Yvelines, run by public transport company RATP, have been using the virtual buttons since Monday, December 7, including on the lines 401 and 415. A RATP spokesperson told news source Le Figaro these are “the busiest lines on the network”.
Buttons being trialled for two months
The HoloStop technology was developed by French company MZ Technologie before the pandemic began. The RATP spokesperson said: “We were already planning this project before the health crisis, but the pandemic accelerated things.”
The trial will last two months, after which RATP will decide whether to expand the use of the buttons throughout their network.
Sophie Hassan, marketing director for RATP's Development branch said: “The holographic buttons are an achievement; they are simple to use, their cost is under control and their purpose is a real plus for passenger safety.”
RATP hopes new measures will bring back customers
So far in 2020, RATP has lost €2million as a result of a reduction in passenger numbers caused by the Covid-19 health crisis. It is hoped that improving safety measures will encourage passengers to return to the network, it said.
A spokesperson told news source France 3: “We saw a return of only 65% of passengers in September on the underground network; we need to reassure people to make them return.”