Demand-responsive bus services have arrived in Oxford

Posted: 10 May 2018 | | No comments yet

Oxford’s new on-demand bus service is intended to be a partnership with local businesses and enables passengers to efficiently move around the city in a quick, simple and cost-effective way…

The Oxford Bus Company is launching a demand-responsive bus service which allows passengers to request a pick-up on any street corner in the east of the city.

The PickMeUp service, beginning on 25 June 2018, will enable users in a 12.2 square mile area around Oxford to request a bus pick-up within minutes at a virtual bus stop, using a new mobile phone app with technology developed with Via.

demand-responsiveIt is being piloted by Oxford Bus Company to reduce congestion and improve services in the east area of the city. The service will operate across the Eastern Arc, covering the railway station, Thornhill and Redbridge Park & Ride sites, the Science Park, Oxford Business Park, the John Radcliffe Hospital, University Science Area and Brookes University. 

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “We are always keen to devise new solutions to continue to meet the needs of our local communities. Though we have great bus links to and from the city centre from the Eastern Arc, connectivity has been a challenge for routes across the east of the city and we believe our new service will help where traditional bus routes do not work commercially.

“The idea of PickMeUp is to provide a new way to get people around swiftly, efficiently and on-demand. I hope this will further encourage people to leave their cars at home, help reduce pollution and improve connectivity in east Oxford.”

PickMeUp is cheaper than a taxi and more flexible than a bus, as it is not tied to existing bus stops. With an expected average response time of around 10 minutes, an introductory fare of £2.50 per journey will be charged, with a surcharge of £2.50 if the journey could be made via an existing bus route.

Oxford Bus Company have invested £850,000 in six 17-seat ultra-low emission Euro 6 minibuses, with Wi-Fi, USB charging points, wheelchair access and comfortable high-back seating to launch the service.

Go-Ahead Group Chief Executive, David Brown, said: “We’ve listened closely to what the local community has been asking for in Oxford. Passengers are keen for a quick, easy and flexible way to get to work, to college or simply to travel around town.

“On a broader level, we firmly believe that ride-sharing is part of the solution to congestion and pollution in our towns and cities. It’s essential that we provide services that will tempt people out of their cars and technology will be key to that challenge.”