The demand-responsive Fflecsi service in Newport is to see “a huge expansion” later this summer to cover the whole of the city and complement existing fixed-route services. Nine new EVM Cityline low-entry minibuses enter will service to facilitate that growth.
Fflecsi first launched in two areas of Newport in 2019. The enhanced service will operate citywide between 0600-2300hrs Monday to Saturday and 0900-1900hrs on Sundays. Newport Bus will continue to operate it in partnership with Transport for Wales (TfW) and Newport City Council.
Fares will be the same as on a conventional Newport Bus service and concessionary passes will be valid. It will remain the case that Fflecsi trips must be booked in advance via app or phone, but in an indication of the product’s enhanced integration with fixed-route services, both the app and the call centre will offer customers the best journey solution, regardless of whether that is by conventional bus or by Fflecsi.
Newport Bus Managing Director Scott Pearson says that the interaction between Fflecsi and the operator’s fixed-route services “will provide valuable information to enable our operations team to review the scheduled bus services for the people who live, work, study, shop and socialise in Newport to ensure that we provide a comprehensive, customer-led network for the future.”
It is the intention that Fflecsi “will complement the scheduled services operated by Newport Bus, not replace them,” notes Newport City Council Deputy Leader and cabinet member for city services Cllr Roger Jeavons.
TfW CEO James Price adds that the body is “pleased” with how the existing Fflecsi pilot in Newport has proceeded.