A new “demand responsive” bus service in Oxford will allow passengers to summon a bus to pick them up on a street corner of their choice.
The PickMeUp service, set to launch on 25 June, is being piloted by the Oxford Bus Company in a 12-square mile area around Oxford.
Workers, residents and students will be able to request a bus pick-up within minutes at a “virtual bus stop” using a mobile app. And employers in the Eastern Arc around Oxford will be offered tailored subscription packages providing discounted or free travel for their staff, creating a quick, easy and convenient alternative to commuting by car.
The service will be operated using a fleet of six 17-seat minibuses with free WiFi, USB charging points and wheelchair access.
According to public transport provider the Go-Ahead Group, which owns the Oxford Bus Company, PickMeUp aims to meet the changing needs of people in parts of the city where passenger numbers increase sharply at certain times of day, making it more difficult to manage through scheduled services.
Phil Southall, managing director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: “Connectivity has been a challenge for some to the east of Oxford 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 accessibility in east Oxford.”
PickMeUp will run between 06:30 and 22:30 during the week and 09:00 to 20:00 at the weekend.