Lincolnshire County Council reduces its supported bus services budget by £1 000 000 but manages to provide a more efficient and more popular rural bus service – CallConnect.
One of the biggest difficulties facing people living in the rural communities is a lack of public transport. Usually, there is not enough of it and it does not run at convenient times. Lincolnshire, one of the largest and most sparsely populated counties in England, needed a system of public transport that allows people to travel, on demand, to almost every location in the county.
Relying on Ordnance Survey mapping data, including OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ Layer with Road Routing Information (RRI), along with Mobirouter™ vehicle scheduling software from Mobisoft®, the team at Lincolnshire County Council has implemented a solution: CallConnect. CallConnect is a unique bus service that operates in response to pre-booked requests. The service will pick up and set down at designated locations in each village or town. Anyone can use CallConnect no matter what their age or status by calling the booking centre, texting or by submitting online requests. Additionally, for disabled customers who are unable to walk to the designated pick-up point or citizens that live in remote, isolated areas, Lincolnshire County Council has enhanced the CallConnect scheme to allow customers to request a home pick-up or drop-off.
Mobirouter allows route-planning for all CallConnect demand-responsive bus services with requests being scheduled dynamically on a real-time basis. The mapping package allows the transport scheduler to easily establish the planned route for any given vehicle alongside the booking request being processed. All the 30 or so vehicles are fitted with iPilot GPS/GPRS units to aid communication with drivers and all real-time vehicle positions are displayed on Ordnance Survey mapping in Mobirouter. It is vital that vehicle resources are utilised as efficiently as possible given the squeeze on budgets – minimising dead mileage and improving patronage is an important way to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the service.
- £1 000 000 supported bus service budget reduction (2011).
- CallConnect replaced expensive ‘DialaRide’ service.
- 27 routes now cover over 90% of Lincolnshire.
- 250 000 passengers and 310 000 CallConnect bookings in 2011.
- 23.7% growth in passenger numbers (with 52% growth since 2009).
- Online booking available 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Excellent levels of passenger satisfaction – with 94% of survey responders stating that they were satisfied/very satisfied with the service.