Crowdsourced transport app taken on by the municipal operator in a new partnership
Transdev Blazefield’s Vamooz app, launched in May across Yorkshire and Lancashire, is to be used by Reading Buses after the two operators announced a partnership.
The concept uses an app to crowdsource bus travel to locations not covered by the existing network. Passengers can choose a trip, or suggest a new one, with payment made securely via the app. The final price for everyone falls as more people sign up to join each trip.
Vamooz was launched with three sold-out trips to the One Love Manchester concert.
Transdev Blazefield CEO, Alex Hornby, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to reach a deal with a leading company like Reading Buses to use the Vamooz app and technology to run their own trips in the South, much as we do so successfully in the North.
“This deal demonstrates what is possible when two like-minded innovative public transport companies work together. We are bringing the benefits of an amazing idea to make effective use of bus fleets and offering more travel opportunities for people up and down the country.
“The idea behind Vamooz is entirely new in the UK bus industry, and we’re sure the people of Reading and beyond will love it every bit as much as those in Yorkshire and Lancashire already do.
“We look forward to creating further similar partnerships with other operators in the future.”
Reading Buses CEO, Martijn Gilbert, said: “We’re delighted to be launching Vamooz in Reading and the surrounding area. This groundbreaking solution will be great for our customers and brings a new dimension to affordable and green travel beyond our traditional local bus network leading to many more journeys and potentially even paving the way for new services.
“The app-based and crowdsourced nature of Vamooz is also a great fit with our technology and innovation agenda here at Reading Buses and the opportunity to collaborate with Transdev Blazefield, another of the UK’s pioneering passenger transport providers, heralds a great step forward in the evolution of the future of the UK bus sector.”
In the North, Vamooz has continued to grow and offer a wider variety of destinations, many inspired by customer suggestions.
This includes trips to Scarborough, Blackpool and Alton Towers and special events including next month’s V Festival at Weston Park in Staffordshire, the Leeds Festival Weekend and the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne, Lancashire.
Commenting on the success to date, Vamooz Manager, Rebecca Reeve-Burnett, enthused: “That’s one of the most exciting things about Vamooz – it gives everyone the ability to go where they choose, when they choose.
“The customer feedback we’ve had from our Vamooz trips so far has been fantastic, and I’m certain the concept will prove every bit as popular in Berkshire. It truly is a first for public transport in the UK and we’re excited to see it being taken forward by Reading Buses, another of the UK’s most innovative bus operators.”