New “on-demand” bus services for Newcastle trial in 2018

ON DEMAND: Kelios Downer buses will trial a new servcie in Lake Macquarie in 2018.A new “on-demand” bus trial has been tipped to offer commuters in the areaimproved choice, convenience and accessibility to public transport in off-peak hours.

Customers will be able to book a service and pre-pay by credit card by phone, mobile phone app, at the Newcastle Transport Hub or by paying cash to the driver.

A bus will then pick them up from near their home, or a convenient location, and take them to where they want to go within the “on demand” area.

Areas of Dudley, Mount Hutton and Warners Bay have been chosen for the trial, which starts in January.

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“The on demand service will use technology to provide a faster and more personalised service to people within the local community,” Keolis Downer Hunter CEO Campbell Mason said.

“Services will be configured to take passengers where they want to go, when they want to travel rather than running on designated routes.”

New timetabled services being implemented in this area as part of the new network will continue to offer customers regular routes.

On demand will operate in addition to timetabled services during daytime off-peak periods and on weekends.

There will be an introductory fare of $3 per one-way trip for the duration of the trial and concession fares will apply.

“This will offer customers a chance to trial the system and get used to it, while offering flexibility to customers by extending the benefits of our service to certain areas not presently covered within our geographic area,” Mr Mason said.

“If the trial is successful we will be able to roll it out across a larger area so more customers can benefit from personalised transport services.”

The trial will begin in off-peak hours at Lake Macquarie in 2018, and willbe monitored closely and is expected to run for 12 months.