The county council is this week officially launching a pilot demand responsive transport (DRT) service designed to better connect rural areas.
Three fully-accessible minibuses are now available to book journeys - via a phone app or by calling a contact centre – on a modern, on-demand transport service running between Leicester and Hinckley.
FoxConnect is a three-year trial scheme, funded through the council’s successful bid for £1.3m from the Department for Transport’s Rural Mobility Fund.
It connects rural areas in south-west Leicestershire with key destinations such as Magna Park, Next Headquarters, Carlton Park, Fosse Park as well as Narborough and Hinckley train stations. It also serves Enderby Park & Ride site for onward travel into Leicester.
The future of rural transport could well be this type of on-demand service as it’s an innovative alternative to what is already out there.
If the trial works well, we’ll look to expand the service into other areas.
Person:Councillor Ozzy O'Shea, cabinet member for highways and transport
Woods Coaches of Wigston are operating the FoxConnect service on behalf of the council and also in partnership with tech provider Liftango, one of the leading shared transport technology companies in the world with offices in Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada and operational projects across five continents.
Woods is part of the National Express Transport Solutions family of brands and regional managing director Sarah Gager said: “Public transport opens up opportunities, whether for work, education, leisure or health needs, so it's important that people have access.
"We're proud to be working with Leicestershire County Council and Liftango to provide this new service and help improve the connectivity of Hinckley with Leicester city centre. A small fleet of vehicles will operate from our Wigston depot.”
David Mahwinney, head of Liftango – Europe said: “We’re happy to partner with Leicestershire County Council and National Express to bring an equitable, on-demand transport service for the communities of Leicestershire.
“Accessible transport options have been a challenge for many of the region’s residents. This partnership will now give their communities a public transit service that’s flexible, effective and simple to use”.
Book a journey and find out what incentives are also available. You can also follow us on Twitter @fox_connect and on Facebook.