MORE than 800 journeys have already been completed on Bromsgrove’s new ‘BOD’ on demand bus in the first month since its launch.
The pilot ‘Bromsgrove on Demand’ service began on July 19, enabling people living within Bromsgrove and surrounding villages to both summon and pre-book buses for journeys anywhere in the area.
Popular destinations have included the town centre, Bromsgrove Railway Station or nearby villages.
The aim of the service is to help reduce congestion and provide improved public transport options for local residents.
There are plans to roll it out across the county if it successful and – with 802 journeys already made and 824 people downloading the app – it is looking good.
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.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted to see what a brilliant start Bromsgrove on Demand has had, the feedback has been amazing, from young people using it to meet friends, groups making trips to local pubs to our elderly residents who would normally struggle to get to a bus stop being picked up outside their homes and dropped exactly where they need to go.
“This is a real model shift in transport in Bromsgrove and shows the art of the possible with innovative and joined up thinking with the team at Worcestershire County Council.
“Now we need to work on expanding it throughout Bromsgrove and Worcestershire.”
Coun Alan Amos, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “We’re delighted at the success of the pilot Bromsgrove on Demand service so far.
“To have over 800 journeys completed in the first month has exceeded even our own expectations.
“It goes to show what a great pilot scheme it is and that the people of Bromsgrove really wanted it and are willing to use it.”
Kevin Collins, operations manager at Diamond Bus which runs the scheme, added: “We have been very happy to be a part of the successful launch of the new on demand service in Bromsgrove.
“We have had very positive responses from all of the users, some of whom have now become our regulars.”
The ‘Worcestershire on Demand’ app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. When someone downloads the app, they will be able to select their pick-up and drop-off location when booking a journey. The system will then direct people to a nearby ‘virtual bus stop’ for pick-up and drop-off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without any detours.
There is a flat rate for each journey of £2.50 and in the near future, seasonal passes will be available.
Two Diamond mini-buses are being used on the service and they can each seat 13 passengers and they run from 7am to 7pm.
To find out more go to the Worcestershire on Demand website here.