THE 11 highest-rated smartphone apps for bus passengers were all created by the same Bournemouth company, a survey has found.

The magazine Passenger Transport examined the star ratings left by users of apps for all forms of public transport.

Its list of highly-rated bus apps was dominated those created by Westbourne company Passenger.

The magazine said: “The 11 highest rated bus operator apps were all developed by Bournemouth-based Passenger, with Blackpool Transport, Warrington’s Own Buses, Borders Buses and Nottingham City Transport all possessing apps with a 4.8-star rating – a result that exceeds the 4.7-star rating achieved by the popular Domino’s Pizza app.”

The reference to Domino’s was a response to research by Transport Focus earlier this year, which found young people wanted using public transport to be as easy as ordering pizza.

Tom Quay, chief executive of Passenger, said: “Creating ‘top-rated’ apps is more about culture than tech. Most software teams can design and create features. But not everyone approaches them in the same way.

“We’ve built a system, Passenger Cloud, that makes it easy for our customers to manage the data and content in the apps. We’ve designed this in conjunction with our customers, who give us regular feedback. We combine that with the feedback from app users, what’s happening in the wider market and then plan together which areas we need to tackle next.”

Passenger is working with organisations such as the Department for Transport and Transport for the North to help shape new rules and systems for the sector, such as the new Bus Open Data Service.

Mr Quay said: “Before attempting to build a solution, we must first understand the problem. It sounds obvious, but there are plenty of examples of great software that has failed because it is attempting to solve the wrong problem or where decision-makers have just decided they alone have the answer.

“We want to make systems that our customers enjoy using too. We want their passengers to be delighted and surprised that their experiences with public transport can be enjoyable and easy.”

Passenger has been making software for public transport for 10 years.

Mr Quay said: “The ratings show that we’ve helped our customers to build brand trust with their customers.”