From 1 February 2020, a new Taxishare service for Bordon residents will be running to replace the number 28 bus service which is no longer financially viable for the bus operator to run.
Councillor Rob Humby Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “I’m pleased we’ve found a solution which means the community has a valuable public transport link while ensuring value for money for Hampshire council taxpayers.
“The 28 bus route was originally set up to serve people living in planned new housing. The service was funded initially from a central Government grant with the intention that it would subsequently be financially supported by contributions from housing developers while passenger numbers increased to make the service commercially viable. However, only a small numbers of residents are currently using the bus service and housing growth levels have not yet reached the trigger point to release developer contributions. As the initial funding is close to running out, we have looked carefully at the options to find ways of maintaining vital public transport options for local people. I’m pleased to say we’ve found a solution in the form of a new Taxishare service. No-one wants to see empty buses driving around.”
Surveys onboard the bus service were conducted between August and November last year to find out how many passengers were using it, and where they were travelling to and from. The surveys showed that, on average, four passengers were travelling on each bus journey from Monday to Saturday. The service was used more in the mornings, with a lower level of use in the afternoon.
The existing local bus contract has an annual cost of £53,333 and is funded from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. On top of this, the County Council subsidises every passenger trip at a cost of £5.67. The new Taxishare service offers ‘like for like’ provision for a maximum annual cost of £37,440, which reduces the cost of the subsidy to £3.98 per passenger trip. This means that there will be remaining Government funding to enable the service to carry on for longer.
A Taxishare uses a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle to deliver a timetabled service to passengers who pre-book seats. This public transport model provides the transport supplier with the flexibility to switch to an appropriately sized vehicle to meet passenger demand and, where there are no passengers who wish to travel at that time, the ability not to provide a service at all.
More information about Taxishare and Carshare services are available on the county council’s web pages: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/alternativetransport/carshares