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July 10 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

VAMOOZ school service to be
launched by Reading Buses

Reading Buses is partnering with VAMOOZ to launch a VAMOOZ school service between Caversham Heights and schools in the Royal Berkshire Hospital area with a stop in Central Reading at the station, from September.

The service will address overcrowding on other routes, using crowdfunding to assess demand and getting people the best fare – the more people that sign up, the less everyone pays for their ticket.

Starting in September for the new school year, the V81 will serve The Reading School and Kendrick School while Abbey School pupils will be able to use the service in the morning. Tickets must be bought through the VAMOOZ app which then guarantees users a seat on the dedicated students-only service.

Annual tickets start at £850, but can drop to £690 as more people buy them. Pricing is comparable to other privately operated dedicated school buses in the area.

At the moment the initial service is designed for The Reading School and Kendrick School because of their similar finish times. Another operator already provides services to the Abbey School, but if demand does build then VAMOOZ services for this school and the option of after school clubs will be considered for the future.

The tickets will be valid for a full year and can also be used on all Reading Buses services within the Simply Reading zone ensuring a safe journey for those who attend after school clubs. The deadline for booking is July 31 and monthly payment options are available.

Said Gemma Redson, Reading Buses Business Development Manager: “We are excited to work with VAMOOZ to start assessing demand for school services – a feature which has already worked well in other parts of the country.

“VAMOOZ allows us to assess demand up front and provide the best service for customers – and other users can suggest pick up points and destinations. So if a group of parents live near each other we could look at providing other routes that work better for them than normal local bus services.”

Students and their families are urged to share the news with friends to reduce the cost to all.

VAMOOZ already operates across the UK, including several successful school services in the Harrogate area, and works with groups of parents, students and schools to look at demand for new services. As soon as there is enough demand for a new service, it can be started straightaway.

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