Go-Coach to launch DRT
Kent-based Go-Coach is to launch a demand responsive transport (DRT) service in May. It is thought to be the first independent operator to do so. Entitled Go2, the service will see four new Ford Transit Tourneos enter service on the DRTs on 11 May. It is also thought to be the first to use small vehicles under local private hire licences and special restricted PSV operators licences for DRT, as well as the first to do DRT in a rural location.
An app for people to book the services is to be provided by Via.
The decision to run a DRT is spurred by what Go-Coach deem poor usage of some bus services in Kent. In a presentation to Kent County Council, Go-Coach owner Austin Blackburn said buses and the times they operate are considered unattractive to passengers. He believes there is a need to reverse the decline in rural accessibility and lack of any additional funding for more supported buses.
The service is to be run by Go-Coach in partnership with Sevenoaks District Council, Age UK Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and Kent County Council. They will have seven leather-seats, USB charging, CCTV cameras, speed sign recognition, lane departure warning and pedestrian detection technology. They will also have a rear wheelchair ramp and a forward facing wheelchair position.