MYFIRSTMILE Trial Opens Eyes to Future Bus Service Innovation
First West of England will be looking at future opportunities to overcome the hurdle of ‘the first mile’ from people’s home to the bus stop following the completion of the trial of MYFIRSTMILE in Bristol on 21st December 2018, a partnership initiative led by technology start up business Esoterix Systems and supported by the bus company.
The idea of MYFIRSTMILE was developed to improve mobility and ease inner city traffic congestion by reducing car use of those commuters who live just beyond walking distance of a bus stop with a high frequency bus service.
The first of its kind in the UK to trial cross-modal transport, it took place in Henleaze and Westbury Park in Bristol and involved using a bus and taxi cab combination with pick up points no more than 250 yards away from people’s doorsteps. The initiative enabled people to be picked up by a hackney-style ride-sharing cab and transported to one of the bus stops nearby.
David Stewart, Chief Executive at Esoterix Systems, said :“Our funding for this specific project has come to an end and we would like to thank First West of England for believing in us and being our partner. As a start up, it is crucial to build up insights from trials such as these so we can continue to innovate. The mobility of people in our crowded towns and cities is one of the largest challenges we face in the 21st century and it calls for radical thinking. This will help us shape such thinking going forward.”
Added James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England: “Innovation is all about trying out new things and we feel that this has definitely got legs in the future in the West of England. This was not about building a new business from day one but learning from the experience that the trial provided. We had customers who really valued it due to their individual circumstances. We are now actively exploring opportunities for applying the concept elsewhere in the region.”
MYFIRSTMILE calculated that travelling this way could shave up to 45 minutes off the morning commute, equivalent to some 174 hours for an average working year.