Making networks reach further

Conceiving, designing and implementing flexible and on-demand services that work with the network

Commuter services

Improving access to jobs 

SevernNet Buzz was a smart-commuting service which enables people access jobs in the remote industrial area of Western Approach.

The area has good access to the M4, M5 and M49 motorways, and its strategic position makes it a good location for distribution businesses. However, it is difficult to reach without a car and the area has traditionally experienced a high-turnover in staff.

The service was developed in collaboration with local businesses looking to reduce staff turnover costs by making it easier to travel to and from their sites.

SevernNet Buzz used smart-ticketing to monitor passenger usage and analyse their end-to-end journeys. This insight enabled periodic route improvements to ensure the service was convenient and efficient.

SevernNet Buzz was developed with the cooperation of SevernNet and began running in 2017. It proved the case for sustainable transport services into the area was converted to public bus services in November 2020.

The low-cost technology is ready to be deployed in any location.

Transport for purpose

Improving access to social-prescribing wellbeing events 2019-2020

WeGo is a shared transport service available for community events in Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill as part of the REPLICATE project.

The technology auto-invites attendees and schedules on-demand journeys. This minimises the administration burden for event organisers and keeps passengers updated about their journey.

They travel in a electric-taxi so their journeys have a minimal effect on air pollution too.

WeGo Bristol makes best use of technology in the background but is light-touch for passengers. It only requires they have a phone (mobile or landline). The service is fully inclusive and accessible.

On-demand network extension

Improving connectivity in underserved areas

MYFIRSTMILE was a six-month trial in Bristol to test new service paradigms which extend the core bus network. Esoterix ran the service in partnership with First Bus.

The design included the pioneering use of mobile network data.

Passengers could pre-book the service or hail from the roadside. Journeys were delivered in fully accessible Hackney cabs. Tickets provided unlimited day travel on both MYFIRSTMILE and the First Bus Bristol Inner Zone network. Concessionary pass holders were welcome to use the service.

It linked people living in the Henleaze and Westbury Park areas to the rapid bus network and popular local shopping destinations, reducing the travel time by public transport for popular commutes by up to 45 minutes.

The service was designed to automatically adapt to varying or irregular demand and thereby serve all passenger journey requests.

The system included:

  • Driver and passenger apps
  • Multi-modal journey planner
  • Machine-learning enhanced design
  • Automatic scaling of operations