Aberdeenshire launches demand-responsive transport service

Aberdeenshire launches demand-responsive transport service


Aberdeenshire Council has introduced a demand-responsive transport (DRT) service in the Scottish town of Inverurie to provide residents with improved access to public transport.

 

Passengers travelling in the Inverurie area will be able to use the urban mobility app, Ready2Go, to plan transport journeys and book demand-responsive rides with real-time arrival information.

 

Mobility-as-a-service

 

The offering was created in partnership with mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions provider Moovit.

 

Previously, Aberdeenshire Council 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, the council 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 app can 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.

“We have consulted with customers, stakeholders and suppliers to gain a far better understanding of travel needs and this has helped shape this excellent new flexible service”

Passengers will also benefit from more efficient routes that only operate via 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 improve onward travel opportunities.

 

The system will also provide the times of any other timetabled bus services operating in the area.

“Since the Covid 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 delivery priority – have diminished significantly and currently all travel demand by bus remains suppressed and generally more local.”

 

He continued: “We have consulted with customers, stakeholders and suppliers to gain a far better understanding of travel needs and this has helped shape this excellent new flexible service which I am sure will be of real benefit to local residents.”

 

In addition to being able to book journeys, the Ready2Go app combines official information from local transport agencies as well as crowdsourced information to calculate the best route for each journey with mobility options like bus and rail.

 

Ready2Go also provides real-time arrival information so 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 they can avoid disruptions and plan their public transport journey accordingly.

 

The app also incorporates accessibility features, with the aim of 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. It is also designed with optimised menus and buttons for those with hand-motor disabilities.



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