Transport for London to trial on-demand bus service with ViaVan and Go-Ahead
Transport for London (TfL) is to trial on-demand bus service in Sutton with ViaVan and Go-Ahead (Pickmeup). The trial is expected to last a year and will see areas of Sutton which currently do not have access to public transport connected through the scheme.
Transport for London (TfL) launched a four-week consultation on plans to trial an innovative on-demand bus service in Sutton.
The new service will enable passengers to use an app to book seats on a minibus that will stop at more convenient locations, including areas not currently served by public transport. The on-demand service is proposed to run from 06:30 to 21:30, seven days a week and would carry up to 14 passengers.
Passengers would benefit from a guaranteed seat, free Wi-Fi, USB charging points and flexible stops.
The consultation is asking Londoners for their views on the specific area that the Sutton service should cover and suggested stopping points. The trial, which will last for one year, will help TfL gauge the level of interest for an on-demand service and assess how it would work alongside the existing public transport network.
Sutton was chosen because it has a relatively high car dependency, and TfL believes the service could encourage people to switch to a more sustainable way of travelling. In doing so, it will improve London’s air quality, and reduce congestion. The buses will meet Mayor Sadiq Khan‘s ULEZ standards, and also accommodate accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility.
Alongside the app, passengers will be able to book trips over the phone. The cost of using this new type of transport will be slightly higher than a traditional bus to reflect a better experience for customers.
After a competitive bidding process, ViaVan and Go-Ahead have been chosen to operate the trial. TfL will be tapping into the expertise of the successful bidders’ collective knowledge of app development and many years’ experience operating the largest part of the bus network in London. TfL is also exploring the possibility of delivering a second on-demand bus trial to provide further evidence about the initiative’s viability. Drivers for the new innovative service will receive the same pay and conditions as other London bus drivers. This includes the Mayor’s ‘Licence for London’, which guarantees a pay grade equivalent to their level of service and experience.
- ViaVan and Go-Ahead’s Pickmeup to run Transport for London’s demand-responsive trial in Sutton.