THE BROMSGROVE On Demand (BOD) bus has been hailed a great success with 10,759 journeys having been made in the first six months.
The scheme – launched by Worcestershire Council in July last year – has reached the halfway point of its 12-month pilot.
On one day this month, 120 passengers used the service, which put it at full capacity and illustrated its popularity.
Worcestershire County Council is one of the first authorities in the country to pilot Demand Responsive Transport (DRT).
The bus was the brainchild of Coun Adam Kent, deputy leader of Bromsgrove District Council, after he saw similar schemes operating in other parts of the country, such as Milton Keynes.
Two Diamond mini-buses are being used on the service and can each seat 13 passengers and it runs 7am to 7pm.
It works by passengers requesting a journey through an app or sometimes a telephone call and they are collected quickly and within a few metres of their location at a ‘virtual bus stop’. Passengers share journeys with others and it may involve a short walk to maximise route efficiency, eliminate lengthy detours, and replicate journey times in a private car.
The buses have helped to improve connectivity in Bromsgrove and allowed passengers to get to work, school, to the shops and various leisure facilities in Bromsgrove.
Coun Alan Amos, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The Bromsgrove on Demand service really has exceeded all of our expectations.
“We launched it last summer knowing the residents of Bromsgrove would see the benefits of the service and use it and they have certainly done that.
“We want to make public transport more attractive to our residents and demand responsive transport is the way forward.”
The ’Worcestershire on Demand’ app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
For anyone not able to download the app, they can call the Worcestershire Hub on 01905 765765 and choose option 8/9 for assistance.
When the pilot comes to an end in July 2022, it will be reviewed to see whether the service can be rolled out across other parts of the county.
DRT forms part of Worcestershire’s wider Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which aims to develop solutions to provide an environmentally sustainable, accessible and fully integrated transport network.