TfL consults on second trial for DRT minibuses

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that it plans to establish a second on-demand minibus trial, this time for 12 months in Ealing.

It follows May’s launch of a similar operation in Sutton. The start date has not yet been announced, but customers will be able to book a seat using an app or over the phone.

RATP Dev will operate up to 10 MAN TGE minibuses between 0600-0100hrs daily to deliver the service. The vehicles are to be converted by Minibus Options.

TfL is currently consulting on the service. Ealing was chosen because of relatively high car use in the borough. The DRT product will provide links that are difficult to achieve with conventional buses while also serving rail stations.

Results from both the Ealing and the Sutton trials will be used by TfL to understand the benefits and viability of introducing an on-demand service in the capital in the long term.

Says Director of Transport Innovation Michael Hurwitz: “We are always looking at ways to help us meet the Mayor’s Transport Strategy goal to have, by 2041, 80% of trips to be walking, cycling or be made by public transport.

“Having trials in two different locations will give a good understanding of whether it is possible to complement the existing bus network in areas that have traditionally been difficult to service with conventional public transport.”

Fares on the Ealing service will start from £3.50. RATP Dev will work with technology and mobility company MOIA, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.