Ting bus extension for Huntingdonshire to be decided at board meeting
- Credit: Mark Bullimore
A board meeting this week will decide whether the TING bus service trial, which has been taking place in West Huntingdonshire, will be extended for a further three months.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee has recommended approval for a three-month extension of the TING service and its Board will make the final decision this week (March 30).
If approved, the extension of the trial until June would allow for further review of the service which has been running since October 2021.
Market research has been undertaken to ensure data was captured to continue to improve the quality of service and affordability of the trial. Throughout February and March 2022 an in-person survey of passengers on conventional buses in the same area was undertaken and found that 80 per cent of people riding the public bus reaffirmed the need for the TING service with passengers highlighting the need for better connections, more stops and consistent service.
The authority says an extension of the scheme will ensure that customer experiences of conventional and TING buses can be fed back into the pilot.
Since its launch last year, TING buses have made 10,443 journeys across West Huntingdonshire for work, school, shopping, childcare and more for £2.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson said: “The TING trial aims to determine whether demand-responsive bus services would be a viable and valuable addition to our public transport network.
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"So far, the popularity of the service has proven to me that there is absolutely a need for affordable, demand-style public transport in rural areas. It has been encouraging to see passenger numbers continue to increase significantly with now over 90 journeys per day.
"A continuation of this trial will mean that officers can make the necessary data to testify to its demand. Having spoken to and seen feedback from local people about how they are incorporating TING into their daily routines, I am passionate that this trial should continue.
"To ensure that we can continue running the service and can expand to other areas in the region, we must show its worth to the community. I encourage everyone living in West Huntingdonshire to make use of TING.”
The service is operated by Stagecoach East, which employs four small single-decker buses, providing ‘uber’ style demand transport, helping people to rely less on private car use.