Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) unveiled two fresh features for the Bee Network app ahead of the rollout of Phase Two of the bus network next weekend.

The bus network arrived in Bolton, Wigan and some of Bury and Salford last year and it is to arrive in Oldham, Rochdale and the rest of Bury and Salford on March 24.

On Sunday, TfGM unveiled two fresh features for the Bee Network app – a planner allowing passengers to plan any trip on any transport and a tracker allowing passengers to track where their bus is on a map – both of them to be in action ahead of next weekend.

The authorities said while these functionalities might not be 100 per cent accurate from day one their use would allow for improvements.

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham said: "It is an exciting time for public transport in the city-region with the next phase of bus franchising launching imminently, a move which will bring half of Greater Manchester's bus services under local control as we make another big step towards the full delivery of the Bee Network.

"We are making real progress with the Bee Network app and I am pleased to confirm the new journey planner and live bus tracker will both be available in the coming week, making it easier for passengers to plan their journey, buy tickets, and see exactly where their bus is on the route.

"While the tracking service should be available for most buses on the network, there might be a small number of services where the tracking service is not available on day one, however we are working hard behind the scenes to get all buses on the tracker.

"Customers can help us by giving us feedback, whether it is by rating their journey on the app or providing feedback on how the app is working. These valuable insights will enable us to keep making ongoing improvements to the Bee Network and the app."

As of March 24, 324 bus routes are to be a part of the Bee Network, meaning TfGM is in control of everything from tickets to timetables. This is half of Greater Manchester.

The rest of the bus routes in the boroughs of Manchester, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford are to be a part of the Bee Network at the start of next year and there is the intention to add some trains into the network by the end of the decade.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.