The Cities-4-People Citizen Mobility Community in Oxford is working with the provider of a new Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service to overcome the mobility challenges they have identified.
The Cities-4-People project has been working with BartOn the Move, a mobility community in Oxford, to identify the mobility issues they face and then design and implement solutions to these problems. The community has identified as their paramount mobility issue the lack of public transport interconnectivity in Eastern Oxford. While bus links from Barton to the centre of town are good, public transport journeys to destinations in Eastern Oxford such as workplaces, affordable supermarkets, and hospitals can be expensive, time-consuming, and intermittent. A lack of good public transport connections to these destinations is a contributing factor to significant congestion in this area.
The Oxford Bus Company will be launching a DRT service called PickMeUp in Eastern Oxford on 25th June. This service addresses the mobility issue identified by BartOn the Move by providing a direct, fast, and affordable public transport link to any destination in Eastern Oxford. Passengers request a ride using the PickMeUp app and are then picked up in about 10 minutes from a virtual bus stop near them. The bus will then take them to their destination, picking up and dropping off other passengers along the way.
To seek ideas for how the PickMeUp service can be best utilised by everyone, Cities-4-People and BartOn the Move are running a series of Citizen Mobility Labs in and around Barton. Participants in these Labs are given information about PickMeUp and ideate ways to make the service accessible to those who would otherwise have difficulty using the service. These ideas will then be developed in a Hack Day in July and refined into 3 interventions that will be piloted in Spring, 2019.
Participants in the Mobility Labs have been enthusiastic about PickMeUp and see it as a great alternative to the use of personal cars. Some of the ideas so far identified have been enabling people with limited mobility or without access to smartphones use the DRT service. The exciting process of working with the community to take some of these ideas into real-world pilots can help realise the full potential of the new DRT service in Oxford and reveal the value of People-Oriented Transport and Mobility in developing innovative urban transport solutions.