First in UK’s first cross-modal public transport

MyFirstMile trial links passengers with bus services via a cab

FirstGroup is trialling what has been described as the UK’s first cross-modal public transport.

The new mode of transport is being tested in Bristol’s Henleaze and Westbury Park regions.

First has joined forces with Bristol-based technology start-up Esoterix Systems to deliver the service. The pilot started on 15 May and sees people using a hackney-style ride-sharing cab to get them to bus stops, from where they can continue their journey by high frequency bus service. Entitled MyFirstMile, users need to walk no more than 250yards from their doorstep to get to one of 25 cab pick-up points. The evening return journey sees passengers get off the bus near a Co-op supermarket car park from where one of the MyFirstMile branded vehicles will transport them home, using the most optimal route to drop off multiple passengers.

A single, integrated payment by smartphone app covers all cab and bus journeys across First’s Bristol Inner Zone network. The service will operate between 6am and 10.30am and between 3pm and 8pm in the evening on weekdays, excluding bank holidays. The service is intended to benefit commuters in particular, but is open to anyone who lives in the trial area and uses the app. Daily travel costs just £6 all-inclusive but can be as low as £4.45 per day with a monthly pass and access to the First Bristol Inner Zone network is included. The trial will run until the end of September and if successful, the model may be rolled out to other areas of the city and the country.

MyFirstMile is the result of a collaboration between First Bus, Esoterix Systems, Bristol City Council, Transport Systems Catapult and the University West of England. The consortium submitted a proposal to Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, to develop and implement new transport services. Co-Op is supporting the trial by making three parking bays available.

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