How to set up a taxishare service

What is a taxishare service?

A taxishare runs to a timetable like a bus, but operates using a taxi.

  • Most taxishare schemes are open to the public, but users must register for the service.
  • Passengers book a seat for a specific journey time and pay a fixed fare.
  • Concessionary travel passes may be used on taxishare services. Contact Hampshire County Council for more information.
  • If nobody books to travel, the service does not operate.
  • A taxishare service does not need to follow a set route.
  • A taxishare can pick up from anywhere in a specified area, or provide a door-to-door service.
When to use a taxishare service
  • Replacing a local bus service that is no longer financially viable.
  • For communities spread across a wide rural area.
  • For journeys with a maximum of eight passengers at a time.
Typical costs

The taxi operator charges the contracting organisation the same amount as for an individual taxi booking. If you know the price of an individual booking, you can work out the maximum annual cost of the service (price × number of journeys).

In a typical arrangement, the taxi operator keeps the collected passenger fares and charges the contracting organisation the net cost of the journey.

  • The more passengers who share a journey, the more cost-effective the service becomes.
  • If a service is not booked, the taxi operator does not charge for that journey.
Resources

Any organisation can commission a taxishare service. The taxi operator must be a licensed Hackney Carriage or private hire taxi firm.

The contracting organisation will need:

  • to draw up a service specification
  • to arrange a contract with an appropriate operator
  • someone to take registrations, liaise with the operator and inform passengers of changes
  • someone to track and review operations, manage user feedback and process operator invoices
Next steps
  • Identify demand (number of people, journeys needed)
  • Draw up and agree a timetable (days/times)
  • Calculate costs, budget and funding sources
  • Draw up a service contract, including if the service needs to be accessible
  • Tender or seek prices from operator(s)
Further advice

Hampshire County Council Community Transport Team
Economy, Transport and Environment Department

Phone: 01962 846785
Email: community.transport@hants.gov.uk

Case studies
Bramshill, Hartley Wespall, Heckfield, Mattingley, Rotherwick and Stratfield Turgis Parishes Taxishare

This taxishare was initially set up by Hampshire County Council to replace an uneconomical bus service. It operates one return journey into Basingstoke every Wednesday. The service is operated by a small local taxi company using a four seater vehicle.

The taxishare picks up pre-booked passengers from their home address across the five parishes at 9:30am and returns at 12 noon. The service is regularly used by a group of passengers who travel every week. On average, there are 20 passenger trips (10 return journeys) each month.

Campbell Road & Chalvington Carshare

This taxishare service complements the local bus services. It covers specific roads in Eastleigh where local bus services were withdrawn. The service offers between two and five journeys, Tuesday to Saturday, depending upon area.

Pre-booked passengers are collected from their home address and taken to their local shopping centre, supermarket or doctor's surgery.

The service sees around 250 passenger trips per month, with 95% of the journeys booked each day. The taxishare service is contracted by Hampshire County Council and operated by a large private hire company.

Hartley Wintney Parish Council Taxishare

This taxishare service complements the Hampshire County Council Hart Shopper Services. It operates every Thursday using a local taxi operator. Passengers book with Hartley Wintney Parish Council who pass the booking to the operator. Passengers must register with Hampshire County Council before they can use it.

Local publicity and shorter journey times have increased patronage of the service, with 78 passenger trips (39 return journeys) each month.

The scheme has been a success thanks to its local focus and good value for money.