PickMeUp expands operating area

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Oxford Bus Company’s on-demand ride-sharing service will expand its zone into Horspath next year.

The app-based service will serve Horspath from January 5 2020 due to popular demand and thanks to funding from Horspath Parish Council. It will serve the village on a six-month pilot scheme, returning public transport to Horspath for the first time since bus services were withdrawn following Oxfordshire County Council subsidy cuts in 2016.

Oxford Bus Company also confirmed it is suspending its PickMeUp service to Jericho from 5 January 2020 after the prolonged Walton Street road closure made continuing to provide services to the area impractical.

Phil Southall, Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company said: “It is great news to be extending the PickMeUp zone to serve the Horspath community. It will provide vital connectivity for people living and working in Horspath. This is as a direct result of Horspath Parish Council working in partnership with us to introduce the service on a trial basis. Such support from other key stakeholders remains crucial to help the service grow as we enter the final phase of the pilot scheme in 2020.”

Horspath Parish Council Councillor Lisa Hofen said: “On behalf of our residents, Horspath Parish Council are delighted to be partnering with Oxford Bus Company’s demand-based ‘PickMeUp’ service for a six-month trial.

“It is simply wonderful to again see the return of a bus service to our village, something we have been working on for our residents for some time now. The Parish Council and the Oxford Bus Company will naturally continue to monitor demand throughout the trial. As such, we strongly encourage our residents to embrace this new service, which arguably is the most expansive service the village has had to date.

“We will be hosting an information session for residents on Monday, 6 January 2020 between 1200hrs and 1500hrs at the Village Hall, and further information will be provided on our website. We would like to thank the Oxford Bus Company for their openness and professionalism throughout.”

PickMeUp was the county’s first transport service of its kind when it was introduced in June 2018, enabling passengers to request a mini-bus pick-up within 15 minutes at a virtual bus stop using a mobile phone app.