Cardiff is set to trial its very first demand responsive transport (DRT) scheme. Operated by transport provider NAT Group in partnership with Cardiff Council and Transport for Wales, it will see the fflecsi service, introduced in Newport and other parts of Wales earlier this year, covering NAT Group’s existing G1 route, which runs from Gabalfa to Gwaelod y Garth via Whitchurch, passengers will be able to request collection from stops along the route at their preferred time by pre-booking via the app or calling the customer call centre.
The trial will run for three-month, and commence on Monday June 29, replacing the former scheduled bus service. Speaking about the new demand responsive scheme, NAT Group Managing Director Adam Keen said: “It’s been a month of innovation and development for NAT Group following the launch of our new TrawsHafren route linking South Wales and Bristol, and now this.
“With current restrictions in place limiting passenger numbers, public transport companies are having to continually adapt their offering and NAT Group is going above and beyond to improve our service and create new provisions for both our existing and potential passengers. This is the first ever DRT trial in Cardiff and pleasingly, NAT Group is at the forefront of innovation. We are committed to finding new ways of travelling for those who live and work in South Wales.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, added: “fflecsi is a very exciting trial for us as we continue to transform public transport in Wales. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on public transport and as we move forward, the safety of our colleagues and customers continues to be our top priority.
“This new pilot scheme offers the opportunity to look at a new way of operating public transport and in these current circumstances it will allow bus companies to move people while maintaining a social distance.
“I’m delighted that fflecsi has been positively received in Newport, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in achieving this. I look forward to finding out what we can learn from the next stage of the pilot scheme in north Cardiff and how we can potentially apply this in other areas in the future.”
The G1 route will be operated by a specially-branded vehicle using the logos for fflecsi and Adventure Travel – the new name for NAT Group.