From today, [May 2 2023], passengers in Moray, Scotland, will be able to book a ride using a new on-demand electric bus service.
Trips can be booked through a new app, which is now available to download and enables users to create and manage journeys. It also includes bus ticket features, vehicle tracking and notification options.
Rebranded as ‘m.connect’, the Dial M bus service is set to cover the whole of Moray. The service will facilitate pre-booked rides with up to two weeks of notice and up to one hour before travel, according to Moray Council.
The route upgrade is the first stage of the £4.3m Bus Revolution project, which is being funded through £4m of Scottish Government funding and £300,000 from Moray Council.
The local authority hopes to use the service to increase the numbers of people using public transport, reduce transport barriers to employment, education or recreation and lessen the environmental impact of transport in the area.
An on-demand service was designed to suit the region’s largely rural economy and help convert the council’s fleet to low-carbon vehicles.
Six new electric vehicles are being added to the fleet, with payment options including credit/debit card (contactless), National (Scotland) Entitlement Cards and cash.
Cllr Marc Macrae, chair of Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “Many of us will have spotted the m.connect buses dotting around Moray in recent weeks as we prepared to see the launch of the full service, so it’s great to have the project live now.
“Transport is an issue we often hear is a barrier for people to take part in activities, commute to work and get around the region. This on-demand service, as part of the Growth Deal’s Bus Revolution, goes some way to remove these concerns and get folk moving around Moray with much more ease and a real potential to boost the local economy.
“The simplicity of the app, booking process and low-cost fare structure is a real boost to the service and I look forward to seeing many more people opting to take the bus as we all become more mindful of our carbon footprint.”
The council has said group bookings will be made available from October 2023, as well as the option to repeat a favourite journey.