A new approach to rural public transport

Demand-responsive transport services in the UK are far less effective at meeting the transport needs of rural dwellers than their continental European counterparts.

The research found that region-wide and nation-wide operations in The Netherlands and Switzerland have lower subsidy costs per trip than schemes in the UK, which are restricted to local authority areas or even smaller localities. 

The report proposes changes to the UK regulatory and subsidy framework to allow operators to run schemes with similar economies of scale to those operating in continental Europe. These are termed ‘Taxiplus’ to refer to a fleet of small vehicles that provide shared transport to passengers who pre-book, available to the wider public as well as the restricted mobility groups that already use local on-demand services.

Lynn Sloman led a Commission for Integrated Transport working group to produce the report (2008).

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