Node-based local pickup arrangement in Bristol delivers passengers to bus stops for onward travel
First West of England (FWE) has joined forces with taxi start-up Esoterix Systems to trial a service that transports people who do not live within easy walking distance of a bus stop to and from a place where they can take advantage of one of the operator’s Bristol trunk services.
Residents of Henleaze and Westbury Park walk to one of 25 pick-up points. From there, a hackney-style ride-sharing service transports them to Nevil Road or Ashley Down Road bus stops on the A38, from where high-frequency buses run to various traffic generators in Bristol.
Christened MyFirstMile, the service operates in the morning and afternoon peak periods. Journey planning and payment is handled by app and all-inclusive daily travel costs £6.
Says FWE MD James Freeman: “Technology and new data sources represent a tremendous opportunity for improving transport.
“The time is right for bus operators to work with innovators to improve existing services and design new ones, attracting new customers. MyFirstMile is just one of the ways that we’re exploring innovative ways to allow people to go about their lives using smarter ways to travel by bus.”
The trial will explore passengers’ willingness to take multi-leg journeys and examine how far they regard as too far to walk to a bus stop. It will also be used to evaluate the price point and business model.
First says that if MyFirstMile is successful, it may be rolled out elsewhere in Bristol and the country. The project is a collaboration that also involves Bristol City Council, Transport Systems Catapult and the University of the West of England.