DRT expanding in Buckinghamshire
Carousel Bus’ PickMeUp demand responsive transport (DRT) service in the Wycombe area is expanding.
The service’s catchment area is being expanded to include Flackwell Heath. Funded by a three-year central Government Rural Mobility Fund Grant, the service runs from Monday to Friday from 6am to 7pm. Mercedes-Benz-based Sprinter conversions by EVM are currently used on the service, which in March reached the 25,000 journey milestone. As part of the route expansion, an additional EVM will operate at the morning and afternoon peak, to keep up with demand.
Residents can book the bus via a smartphone app or by phone when they need to travel and have it pick them up from a nearby location convenient to them.
PickMeUp was launched as a pilot in September 2022 and had close to 100 people per day travelling by the end of the first week of service. By December 2022, this had increased to 220 passengers per day and the service continues to attract new passengers, now providing almost 1,500 rides per week.
After reviewing how the service is being used, and in response to requests from the local community, the council and Go-Ahead-owned Carousel Buses are extending the service to more potential passengers.
“The continuing popularity of the service demonstrates the role that demand-responsive transport plays in improving air quality and traffic congestion in the UK” – Luke Marion, Managing Director of Carousel Buses
Luke Marion, Managing Director of Carousel Buses, said: “It is great to be expanding the PickMeUp service even further in Buckinghamshire. Since launching last September, PickMeUp has already benefited thousands of residents, providing them with an efficient, low-carbon, on-demand mode of transport in areas where our main bus routes cannot operate due to location, demand and vehicle size.
“The continuing popularity of the service demonstrates the role that demand-responsive transport plays in improving air quality and traffic congestion in the UK. We look forward to serving passengers in Flackwell Heath.”
“Carousel are enabling us to provide better and more sustainable transport options for High Wycombe” – Steven Broadbent, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport
Steven Broadbent, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Having spotted a gap in regular bus services in some areas of the town and listened to local views, it has been really good to see growing numbers of people embracing the Wycombe PickMeUp as a convenient and greener way to travel. Carousel are enabling us to provide better and more sustainable transport options for High Wycombe and we are pleased to be continuing on the next step with them.”