The Country's First 'Hybrid' Cab-Bus Service
Don’t you hate spending too much time stuck in traffic during the morning commute and then going round in circles looking for a place to drop your car near work? Or you want to catch the bus, but the bus stop is just that bit too far to walk? A brand-new mode of transport being trialled in Bristol is looking to change all that.
Bristol is the first city in the country to trial an all in one cab and bus service, which is set to change how the city’s population commute from their homes to their workplaces.
Local bus operator First West of England has joined forces with Bristol-based technology start-up Esoterix Systems to make people’s morning commute quicker by transporting people by taxi from a pick-up point near their home to a bus stop where they can hop on a bus and get to work without having to worry about parking.
The trial will involve people living in Henleaze and Westbury Park walking no more than 250 yards from their doorstep taxi pick-up points dotted around the local area which will transport them to the bus network on the Gloucester Road for their onward journeys to work in areas such as Filton and Abbey Wood. The same service is also available on the return journey.
In addition to First Bus and Esoterix Systems. other partners in the MYFIRSTMILE initiative include Bristol City Council, Transport Systems Catapult and the University West of England. The consortium submitted a proposal to Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, to develop and implement new transport services.
James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England, says: “This is a great and innovative way of helping commuters who live too far from a bus stop to use the bus. By bringing a service closer to their homes, their daily commute is easier. Plus, there’s no need to waste time looking for a place to park or pay for parking.
“Technology and new data sources represent a tremendous opportunity for improving transport. The time is right for bus companies to work with innovators to improve existing services and design new ones, attracting new customers. MYFIRSTMILE is part of our vision to create the smartest way to go about the region.”
An integrated smartphone app covers journey planning and secure payment for both MYFIRSTMILE cab plus bus journeys across First’s Bristol Inner Zone network. The service will operate between 06:00 and 10:30 in the morning and between 15:00 and 20:00 in the evening on weekdays, excluding bank holidays. The service will benefit commuters in particular, but is open to anyone who lives in the trial area and uses the MYFIRSTMILE app.
Liz Davidson, Chief Marketing Officer of Esoterix Systems, said: “We’re doing more than connecting transport services. By using the local Co-op supermarket as a ‘hub’, passengers can easily pop in for some groceries on the way home. And because they are dropped at home, they don’t have to carry them far.
Daily travel costs just £6 all-inclusive but can be as low as £4.45 per day with a monthly pass and access to the First Bristol Inner Zone network is included. While MYFIRSTMILE doesn’t operate on weekends or bank holidays, MYFIRSTMILE week and month passes do allow travel on First’ bus services operating in the First Bristol Inner Zone network on those days. As part of the launch offer, users downloading the MYFIRSTMILE app from the Apple App Store or Google Play can travel the first day for free.
The trial will run until the end of September. If successful, MYFIRSTMILE may be rolled out to other areas of the city and the country as an effective way to improve public transport options and encourage people to use the bus.