Case Study

MK Connect

Milton Keynes, England



Use Case

First-and-last-mile, Point-to-point


23 vehicles (12 EVs and 4 WAVs)


rides per week


average rider rating


reduction in subsidy required per journey


Milton Keynes, a small city about 50 miles northwest of London, struggled for decades to promote public transportation. In 2020 Milton Keynes faced a new problem. The global pandemic had caused subsidies on supported bus services to skyrocket from £2 to more than £10 per journey. The challenge was how to maintain or improve vital supported services in the city whilst making a significant cost saving.


In October 2020 Milton Keynes Council, in partnership with Via, launched MKConnect — a demand responsive transport service providing on-demand trips in a pilot area of the city. In April 2021, the council took the radical step of removing all subsidised bus services and, in their place, expanding MKConnect to cover the whole of Milton Keynes. The service acts as a complement to the commercial bus network and is integrated with it so passengers only get an on-demand bus proposal if their trip is not possible using the commercial network.

MK Connect immediately surpassed all ridership expectations, exceeding 100,000 rides within 6-months of launch — it currently serves around 5.5K rides per week. The service is delivering on its financial objectives whilst providing a significant uplift in passenger experience. For the council it is on course to reduce supported bus spend by ~£1.4m and the subsidy required per journey by 40%. For passengers, the average wait time for a bus after requesting a trip is ~20 minutes, vs. an hourly service previously. As a result, passenger satisfaction is incredibly high which is only fueling ever growing demand.

We’re offering Milton Keynes residents an overall better service that reaches more people, while also reducing emissions and cutting costs.”

Adele Wearing
Strategic Lead for Passenger Transport, Milton Keynes Council

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