Aberdeenshire Council launches new DRT service and mobility app
Passengers travelling in the Inverurie area can now use the Ready2Go app to book demand-responsive transport rides with real-time arrival information.
Aberdeenshire Council has announced the launch of Ready2Go, a new demand-responsive transport (DRT) service and corresponding mobility app to provide residents with better access to public transport.
From 16 August 2021, passengers travelling in the Inverurie area will be able to use the free Ready2Go iOS and Android apps – available to download on the App Store or Google Play – to plan transport journeys and book demand-responsive transport rides with real-time arrival information.
Until now, Aberdeenshire Council has operated a phone-based request and dispatch service for dial-a-bus services. As a way to modernise and provide better access to public transport, Aberdeenshire Council has partnered with Moovit to digitise the new Ready2Go Around Inverurie service, shorten wait times and make it easy to book and track buses.
Users of the Ready2Go app are able to book demand-responsive transport rides at short notice or in advance. Users of the service should enjoy decreased wait times, as they can view the minibus’ real-time arrival information and track the vehicle along its route. Passengers will also benefit from more efficient routes that only operate via the pickup locations of people who have pre-booked their seat.
The service will also connect to some of the main transport hubs in the area – including Inverurie, Insch and Kintore railway stations – to help to improve onward travel opportunities.
Rides may be booked using the Ready2Go app or by calling Aberdeenshire Council directly. The system will also provide the times of any other timetabled bus services operating in the area.
The Ready2Go app:
- Suggests the most efficient routes – once a user launches the Ready2Go app and inputs their destination, Ready2Go will display the most convenient routes
- Enables users to book a Ready2Go journey – users can select Ready2Go Transit On-Demand to book a seat
- Directs passengers to a nearby pickup location – once the journey is booked, passengers receive guidance on the walk route to a designated pickup location
- Provides passengers with real-time tracking – while waiting for their ride, Ready2Go users can track the approaching vehicle in real-time and view its estimated time of arrival (ETA). While riding, users can view the route on the map, as well as the estimated time of drop off
- Enables future ride booking – rides can be booked up to seven days in advance.
In addition to being able to book DRT journeys, the Ready2Go app combines official information from local transport agencies, as well as crowdsourced information, to calculate the best route for each journey.
Ready2Go also provides: real-time arrival information so that users know exactly when their bus or train is arriving; a ‘Live Directions’ feature, with ‘Get Off Alerts’ to provide step-by-step guidance for the entire journey and ‘Operator Service Alerts’ so that they can avoid disruptions and plan their public transport journey accordingly.
Ready2Go also incorporates accessibility features, empowering people with disabilities to use public transport with more assurance. For example, the app is optimised with screen reading features for low vision users, including TalkBack/VoiceOver capabilities. The Ready2Go app is also designed with optimised menus and buttons for those with hand-motor disabilities.
“Since the COVID-19 emergency, travel needs and travel demands have evolved, with a massive increase in people working from home, a surge in online shopping and the development of tele-healthcare,” said Councillor Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee. “Peak workers’ travel requirements – which formed the previous service’s delivery priority – have diminished significantly and, currently, all travel demand by bus remains suppressed and generally more local. We have consulted with customers, stakeholders and suppliers to gain a far better understanding of travel needs, and this has helped to shape this excellent new flexible service which, I am sure, will be of real benefit to local residents.”
Vice-Chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor John Cox, added: “This is an exciting time for travel in and around the Inverurie area, and I am confident that this enhanced transportation initiative will provide a better, more flexible type of service for many passengers and will make getting around far more convenient.”