On-demand bus service HertsLynx has been launched in Hertfordshire, with more than £1 million funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to help meet rural transport needs.
Hertfordshire County Council received £1,472,000 from the DfT's £20m rural mobility fund, which has been split between 17 councils.
The service, operated by Uno Bus, is being powered by Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) provider and Smart Transport member Padam Mobility.
It allows residents in the east and north of Hertfordshire to use an app to order a bus pick-up and drop-off from virtual bus stops along routes where normal bus services are infrequent.Journeys can also be booked on a dedicated website or over the phone and cost between £1 and £4.
HertsLynx can be used for travel anywhere in its operating zone, which is centred around Buntingford. There are no fixed routes on the service, instead passengers can be picked up and dropped off at a vast number of stops within this zone. Passengers can also travel to designated locations in Stevenage, Bishop’s Stortford, Royston, Baldock, Hitchin and Letchworth.
Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways and transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We want Hertfordshire to be a cleaner, greener and healthier county, and part of that means providing practical and affordable alternatives to the car.
"We’ve listened to what residents in these rural areas of the county have been telling us about wanting more frequent and flexible bus services, and HertsLynx will certainly deliver that.”
The service relies on three new modern vehicles (operating in Hertfordshire in a free floating configuration) and an additional two buses scheduled for the second year (five vehicles in total).
It operates from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Rides can be booked in real-time or up to 30 days in advance.
Padam Mobility said that it can guarantee that confirmed ride bookings will be carried out by the operator and that no customers will experience a last minute cancellation, which can happen with other DRT technology solutions.