Gordon MP Richard Thomson has welcomed the extension of the Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) scheme in Inverurie for a further 12 months.
The Monday-Saturday Ready2Go Around Inverurie service involves five minibuses operated by Watermill Coaches under contract to the council covering Inverurie and the surrounding area, including the communities of Insch, Rothienorman, Oldmeldrum, Kintore, Kemnay and Monymusk.
The service picks up and drops off booked passengers at physical or virtual bus stops. It does not have a fixed route or timetable; the management software calculates the route and times dynamically based on each individual passenger booking.
On average there are now 1,100 passenger trips made each week on the Ready2Go service, which is proving popular with the majority of passengers and achieving high levels of satisfaction.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“I welcome the extension of this scheme for a further year. By all accounts, the Ready2 Go service seems to have proved popular, but it is important the council gets this right before rolling out this kind of service to other areas.
“That said, the initial results suggest that more passengers are using this service than what was in place previously and has even attracted users who would otherwise have used a private car – especially useful at this time of households facing an increasing cost of living crisis.
“Rural transport and connectivity is a big issue and it’s important no-one is left behind in the transition from timetabled services to demand-responsive services.
“I look forward to seeing the outcome of this pilot scheme in due course, which I hope will be something which can be built on to deliver for other rural communities.”
Customers are able to place bookings at any time using the free app which is available from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Passengers without a smartphone who are unable to use the Ready2Go DRT app can phone the council on 01467 535 333 to book their bus.