TfL consults on demand-responsive bus trial in West London
Transport for London (TfL) believes demand-responsive bus services may have the potential to complement the established bus network to contribute to sustainable travel and reduce car dependency in the future. Demand-responsive services operate flexibly in response to local demand. These services can change routing and scheduling depending on when and where customers want to travel. TfL wants to explore whether these services can support good growth and improve public transport while improving accessibility and air quality (by reducing car use) in an area of outer London where car dependency is high and other forms of public transport have limited availability.
To achieve this, TfL is delivering a 12-month research trial in Ealing with potential expansion into Brent. The proposed area for the trial is shown below:
The service does not have a fixed route or schedule, but 'responds' to the request to be picked up by the customer. It can be booked at the desired time of travel, primarily through an app, and provide real time updates to customers of vehicle arrival time and guarantees a seat for confirmed bookings. The aim of the research trial is to test the impact of a flexible route and schedule and an app-based booking system to see if this can improve public transport outcomes while also improving accessibility and air quality. The key target markets for the service are those who usually use their car and who are not, for various reasons, using conventional public transport, walking or cycling. In the area identified, the service will provide links to other public transport as well as access to key destinations and trip attractors such as hospitals, places of worship and the university.
It is expected that the trial will begin in late 2019.
More information is available here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/demand-responsive-buses/