Friday, December 4, 2020

Thousands to benefit from rural bus service as part of £9m council investment

A new smart bus service launching next month will help connect thousands of people across rural North Lincolnshire with friends, family and community facilities.

The JustGo North Lincs on-demand service will be taking bookings from September 1 through a new app, which will be available on smart phones and tablets on Apple and Android.

Thousands of residents in rural towns and villages, including those that can travel for free, will benefit from this service.

JustGo, funded through North Lincolnshire Council’s three-year, £9m community connectivity budget, allows users to choose where they get picked up from and where they get dropped off across hundreds of meeting points across the region.

The intelligent software then works out the best way to collect other passengers nearby and take them to their chosen destinations. The more the app is used the better the responsive transport becomes.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Rural buses are an essential part of people’s lives, providing a lifeline which connects them to friends, family, shopping and healthcare services as well as community facilities, events and activities.

“We’re investing £9m across three years to keep people connected across North Lincolnshire and this latest innovation, developed in partnership with East Yorkshire Buses and global technology firm Liftango, will revolutionise rural bus services.”

Cllr Julie Reed, cabinet member for connectivity, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Lots of people are comfortable using apps for a variety of services but this will be new to some.

“With that in mind, we will be running a series of workshops and drop in sessions to help people use the new system, supporting them to get them started with JustGo. This latest development in the service will be hugely beneficial to communities across the region.”

The JustGo team will be running a series of roadshow events through September and October across North Lincolnshire where people can find out more, including how to download and use the app.

North Lincolnshire Council’s community enablement team will also be delivering a series of digital accessibility workshops at the council-led community hubs in the Isle of Axholme, Barton-upon-Humber, Brigg and Winterton.

Ben Gilligan, Area Director, East Yorkshire, said: “We’re looking forward to getting the service started after months of training and preparation. Our team of drivers will provide first class customer service and deliver a new way for residents to travel across the region for work, college or leisure.

“JustGo will take rural transport to the next level, providing low-cost, customisable rides at times to suit the passenger, all through an easy to use smartphone app.”

Kevin Orr, chief executive, Liftango, said: “Connecting people is at the core of what we do. Working with East Yorkshire Buses and North Lincolnshire Council is a great opportunity to help provide more equitable transport for rural areas.

“Access to transport is crucial for rural communities and we’re excited to provide the JustGo North Lincs team with a platform that helps fleet operators enhance their services whilst improving the passenger experience.”

The new service will be available from September 7.

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