The West of England Combined Authority has released some details of the new demand responsive transport service (DRT) to be introduced on Monday April 3rd. To be known as WESTlink it will be a public bus service with no fixed route and timetable. The buses will run from 7.00am until 7.00pm Monday to Saturday. There will be no service on Sundays.
The 16-seater buses will run anywhere in an agreed operating zone. The Southern Zone is a large area from Freshford to Weston-super-Mare and from Radstock to Keynsham and Bedminster. The zone does not include Bath or central Bristol.
The service will not be door-to-door but will use existing bus stops and new virtual bus stops. The buses will respond to bookings which can be made up to 24 hours in advance (there is no facility for regular bookings) via a WESTlink app, the website or a telephone call centre. Links and numbers are not yet available.
Intending passengers will need to create an account. It will be possible to specify departure and arrival times and real-time bus location will be available on the app. Those booking by telephone will receive reminder call before the bus is due.
Computer technology will match journey requests to create individual routes and the maximum wait for on-demand service is expected to be no more than one hour.
The single fare for any length of journey within an operating zone will be £2 for an adult and £1 for a child. Concessionary and older person’s bus passes will be accepted. Payment can be made when booking via a credit or debit card or the driver can be paid with cash. It is hoped that a day fare and through ticketing with other bus and rail operators will be introduced.