Passenger has signed a contract with Go-Ahead Group that will see it deliver 15 apps and six websites for Go-Ahead’s bus operations in the UK.The partnership will result in Go-Ahead moving from developing digital solutions in-house to utilising Passenger’s knowledge and service platform to power the apps and websites for its UK bus operations.A significant development will be the introduction of integrated web-to-mobile ecommerce on each Go-Ahead subsidiary’s Passenger-powered apps and websites. That will allow customers to buy tickets via a website and use them instantly in apps.The Bournemouth-based supplier says it has experience in delivering large scale systems to transport operators and authorities, including mobile ticketing, network dataset management and real-time systems. Its work with Go-Ahead will see it manage the migration of customers, including those with active tickets, to the new platform.Users of Brighton and Hove Buses will also benefit from an integrated contactless portal. That will provide access to contactless payment history alongside mobile ticketing in the operator’s new Passenger app and website.Go-Ahead already has almost 1m users of its mobile apps and it hopes to see that number increase as customers return post-COVID-19 pandemic. The group will begin to roll out Passenger’s business accounts later in 2021, giving greater functionality and control to its B2B customers.Says Passenger CEO Tom Quay: “Our platform has developed over the last five years into a powerful tool to deliver the kind of customer experience that we all want to receive, especially as we are re-evaluating how we travel and what is important to us in the wake of the challenges we have all faced over the last year.“I would like to welcome Go North West, Go South West, Metrobus and Oxford Bus Company, who we will be working with for the first time.”www.discoverpassenger.com
That usually meant harassing some hapless supermarket manager for daring to stock South African sherry or oranges. We got a tremendous glow of righteous self-satisfaction, but the effect on the creepy old racists of Pretoria was fairly minimal, I think. In the aftermath of what seems from the outside to have been a very disappointing election result in Belarus, it is tempting to look for a nice new shiny policy – including tougher sanctions. But that would be a mistake.For a start, it would have little effect. Belarus’s stunted economy exports little in the way of consumer goods, so there’s not much to boycott. (Its best export at the moment is giant tyres for earth-moving machinery and the people who buy such things are an unsentimental bunch, not much interested in the politics of post-Communist human rights.) Second, experience shows that the real effect of sanctions is to create profits for middle-men, not to rock regimes. Even if we did boycott the bison-grass vodka, sausage, socks and other things that do occasionally make it onto western shelves, it would be a mistake. Ten years of freezing out Belarus haven’t weakened the regime. If anything they have strengthened it, by increasing the sense of isolation on which dictatorship thrives. As one of my opposition friends, the Vitsebsk-based local activist Olga Karatch, noted recently, before Belarusian society can be transformed, it needs to be rebuilt. The country is still suffering to a much greater extent than any other former captive nation from the atomisation and disorientation created by the Soviet Union’s rise and fall. People feel lost.What we need is a policy that helps Belarusians find themselves in modern Europe – in culture and outlook at first, in economy and politics eventually. If it isolates the regime from the people too, that’s an added bonus.The best way to do that is to open our doors as widely as possible. Everything that encourages the free movement of people, goods and services across the border increases the number of autonomous decision-makers in the closed Belarusian society – and therefore opens it up. I know that the commanding heights of the Belarusian economy are run by the ruling elite and its cronies. And it is true that they will make even more money if trade increases. But that’s a price worth paying.Trade will only grow slowly. But a quick practical scheme would be to offer plentiful scholarships to Belarusians wanting to study in the European Union. And we should do everything possible to increase sporting ties too.The Kremlin’s assessment of the Belarus elections was that they were splendidly free and fair – and anyone who says otherwise is a spy and should be locked up (I made that last bit up, but you get the drift). That highlights another reason for avoiding sanctions: they just force Belarus ever deeper into Russia’s glutinous embrace. Nobody’s talking about sanctions against Russia, yet, but Vladimir Putin’s idea of democracy is not much different from Lukashenko’s (roughly: sit down, shut up, give me money). And they need the same approach.The big strength of Western societies is that we are open. That’s what we should use in the struggle against autocracy, in Minsk, Moscow and beyond: by demonstrating our openness, to trade, people and ideas. Edward Lucas is Central and Eastern Europe correspondent for The Economist.
The Baltimore Orioles played two split squad games today. They Lost 9-6 to the Philadelphia Phillies during the day and then tied the Minnesota Twins 1-1. Dylan Bundy got the start in the day game, but things did not go well for Bundy in his first start of the Spring.The Orioles took an early lead in the top of the second inning when Luis Sardinas doubled home Chance Sisco.After escaping a jam for a clean first inning for Bundy, he found himself in another one in the second. With runners on first and third and one out, Roman Quin tied the game up with a chopped ball to Chris Davis who hesitated looking at home and ended up not having a play anywhere. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bundy gave up a grand slam to Jorge Alfaro to make it 5-1 after two innings.The Oriole got a run back in the top of the third. Cedric Mullins lead off the inning with a walk and then Anthony Santander reached on catcher interference. A balk call then put them on second and third. Chris Davis and Ryan Mountcastle both struck out, but a wild pitch would allow Mullins to score before Chance Sisco eventually struck to end the inning.The Phillies were able to get another run off Andrew Faulkner in the fifth inning when Will Middlebrooks singled home Adam Rosales.The Orioles made it six to three in the seventh inning when Audry Perez singled back up the middle, glancing off the pitcher’s glove, and scoring Cedric Mullins.The Oriole were within one run after the top of the eight inning. T.J. Nichting doubled home Mason McCoy. Santander then singled to bring home Nichting and make it six to five.The Phillies were able to pull away in the bottom of the inning though. Jason Gurka came on to the mound and gave up three runs and making it nine to six going into the ninth.Perez got another RBI and a consolation run in the bottom of the ninth when he homered to left-center field.One other note from this game- Phillies player, Will Middlebrooks, had to be carted off after a collision with a teammate chasing a fly ball.The Orioles then played another game back home in Sarasota against the Minnesota Twins. This game had far less happen then the early game, finishing at a one all tie.Nestor Cortes hung a slider to Kennys Vargas to lead of the second inning with a double. Vargas was able to move up to third on a flyout, and then score on a sac fly the next at bat to give the Twins an early lead.The only other run came when Austin Wynns launched a home run into left-center.Other notes- The Orioles loaded the bases three times in this game, and were not able to score a run each time.Orioles starters have given up at least a run in each game so far.All three home runs this spring training have come from catchers, Sisco, Perez, and Wynns.Please follow and like us: