Shropshire Council’s new on-demand bus service has officially launched today [Monday 04 December 2023], initially in two zones, and with plans in place to expand the service on a zone-by-zone basis.
As previously reported by CiTTi Magazine in November, the launch of the on-demand service follows a four-week trial period during which people were able to try the service for free.
The service utilises a Sigma 7 electric bus in urban areas – the first fully electric bus in Shropshire – whilst smaller low-emission diesel vehicles will operate in more rural areas, to which they are better suited to the rugged terrain.
The Shropshire Connect On-Demand service has replaced the 544 (Shrewsbury to Lyth Hill) and 546 (Shrewsbury to Pulverbatch) bus services, which were fully funded by the council but have, over a period of time, seen a reduction in passengers.
It’s also providing links to new residential developments in Shrewsbury not served by public transport.
The service operates from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, with people able to book via app or by phone.
Single journeys cost £2 for passengers aged over 19, £1.50 for those aged 5 to 19, with under-5s travelling for free.
Customers can book the service via the Connect On-Demand app or by phone between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday. They can choose where they wish to be picked up, and when, and where they want to be dropped off.
The service picks-up and drops-off at locations within both zones, as well as outside of the zones at Shrewsbury bus and railway stations.
Shropshire Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for public transport, Ian Nellins, said:“The new Shropshire Connect On-Demand service is part of Shropshire Council’s commitment to reinvigorate public transport in Shropshire.
“I’m delighted that the new buses have now begun operating and I encourage people to take advantage of this fantastic new service.
“For many residents in Shropshire’s vast rural areas there are no local transport services to get them to work, leisure activities, medical appointments or college.
“This service strives to change that and provide a crucial link for residents requiring affordable access to essential services.
“Connect On-Demand will also work in areas not supported by sufficient local bus services, providing them with essential transport to their nearest market town and links to existing local bus/rail services for onwards travel.”
Achievements and innovations in public transport will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Please visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.