GoSutton, an on-demand bus service, commenced its 12-month trial period on 28 May 2019.
The location was chosen due to it being difficult to serve with traditional public transport as a result of its low housing density, and also its high car use.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses, which can seat up to 14 people, are also equipped with free WiFi and USB charging points, and can be booked through the GoSutton app.
The technology directs passengers to a nearby ‘virtual bus stop’ while the algorithms enable multiple passengers to share the same vehicle, without deploying multiple vehicles for the same stop.
Journeys are priced at a flat £3.50 with each additional passenger on a group booking paying £2.
Freedom passes are accepted, and the buses also meet the low emission standards of the region.
Transport for London (TfL) is working in conjunction with Go-Ahead and ViaVan to deliver the trial.
Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation, said: “We are growing the bus network in outer London, as well as improving the capital’s Tube and rail service, but we also need to innovate and explore new ways of encouraging people out of their cars and onto more sustainable forms of transport.
“This trial will help us determine whether a more flexible, on-demand bus service complementing traditional routes could help us achieve the goal of making our streets better places for everyone.”
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “On-demand buses are an innovative new form of public transport designed to be even more convenient, particularly in areas of outer London where it can be harder to get around.
This trial will help us determine whether expanding demand responsive technology can reduce car use and help clean up our toxic air.”
A subsequent 12-month trial is planned in Ealing later in the year, after a review of the service in a consultation.
RATP in association with MOIA plan to run this service, which like the GoSutton trial seeks to examine how to maximise the occupancy of the vehicles.
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