Aberdeenshire Council has lauched a trial of a new on-demand bus service.
Rural residents, including pensioners and the elderly, may soon have to book their bus travel through a smartphone app if a trial into a new transport model is approved.
The council’s existing dial-a-bus service is being replaced with a Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) pilot project to be trialed in areas around Inverurie and between Dinnet and Banchory, meaning that those requiring transport will be encouraged to book it through a smartphone app rather than relying on the timetabled routes already in place, according to a report in the Press and Journal.
The new system being trialed will feature automated trip-booking and dispatch, allowing passengers to book a vehicle at any time with the first available vehicle then dispatched.
Ewan Wallace, the council’s head of transportation, said: “Officers, with data input from Stagecoach Bluebird, have worked with ViaVan, a leading provider of DRT solutions, to undertake a simulation exercise covering two potential areas of ’enhanced’ DRT operation.
“It is intended that prospective passengers will be able to book through the existing A2B dial-a-bus travel dispatch centre however this additional workload should be marginal as the majority will be encouraged to book trips through an app.”