TfL has launched an on-demand bus service in west London — Slide Ealing.
Covering an area from Southall in the west to the North Circular, and from the A40 down to Boston Manor in the south of Ealing, passengers can 'order' the bus using an app, which will pick them up within 10 minutes. It's being trialled by TfL — along with bus company RATP and German technology firm MOIA — for 12 months.
Fares start at a flat rate of £3.50, with passengers being able to benefit from weekly and monthly capping. Every 10th journey is free. The buses are accessible for wheelchair users.
A similar trial launched in Sutton earlier this year, with two different operators, ViaVan and Go-Ahead. TfL is currently not commenting on this trial's success, due to pre-election rules. We've previously confessed a little scepticism about the scheme, due to the amount of variables and obstacles. But with their eco-friendly aims, we hope both trials fare well. (Both boroughs have been chosen because of their relatively high numbers of private vehicles.)
Again, TfL is keeping shtum on its plans for expansion if the two trials DO prove workable — and of so, whether they'd look to whittle down the number of operators they work with.
More information and details to download the app, can be found on the Slide Ealing website