Microtransit, Replacing fixed routes
2-7 buses depending on peaks and demand
decrease in number of buses used
of riders surveyed said they use their vehicles less
increase in utilisation during COVID-19
Go-Coach previously oversaw a fixed-line bus network in the town of Sevenoaks. Many of its bus routes ran once an hour, with specific routes stopping in some rural areas only once per week. In an effort to serve more residents with greater frequency, they were preparing to add a demand-responsive transport (DRT) service to its network. But when COVID-19 hit, Go-Coach experienced a 90% drop in ridership. This presented two problems: they couldn’t completely cut service because Sevenoaks residents still needed a safe and reliable way to travel to and from essential services, and Go-Coach needed to make swift changes to reduce costs.
With Via’s help, they went back to the drawing board and accelerated the launch of the planned service by two months, focusing it on essential trips for those who needed to safely move around during the pandemic, including health workers to local hospitals.
During the pandemic, Go-Coach has been able to reduce the number of buses by up to 80%, replacing seven of their existing fixed lines with on-demand vehicles. The service is booked through the Go2 app and it’s available at a similar fare to a regular bus.
Via’s technology just works. It works for the public, it works for the operators, it works for the drivers. They all really, really like it.”
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